Review of Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall (2010)

Bottom line: A fun read for Star Trek fans who don’t mind a little spattering of bodily fluids and high body count. Ok, there was a lot of spattering.

Rating: Recommended if: you are a zombie fan and/or Trekkie

Blurb:

Journey to the final frontier of sci-fi zombie horror!

Jim Pike was the world’s biggest Star Trek fan—until two tours of duty in Afghanistan destroyed his faith in the human race. Now he sleepwalks through life as the assistant manager of a small hotel in downtown Houston.

But when hundreds of Trekkies arrive in his lobby for a science-fiction convention, Jim finds himself surrounded by costumed Klingons, Vulcans, and Ferengi—plus a strange virus that transforms its carriers into savage, flesh-eating zombies!

As bloody corpses stumble to life and the planet teeters on the brink of total apocalypse, Jim must deliver a ragtag crew of fanboys and fangirls to safety. Dressed in homemade uniforms and armed with prop phasers, their prime directive is to survive. But how long can they last in the ultimate no-win scenario?

Review:

This was my first honest-to-goodness zombie book. I generally stay away from that genre since I don’t handle gore and character deaths well, but when one of my cousins posted on Facebook about this book (zombies! Trekkies! Houston!), I just had to try it. The only other zombie books I’ve read are Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Zombie Survival Guide (see my reviews here). This was far more violent and graphic, it was just inside my comfort zone. What helped was that I went into it with the same attitude as watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie – this is just going to be ridiculous in terms of body count and method of dispatch, and also don’t get too attached to any of the characters.

All that being said, it was a really fun read. It did a good job of walking the line between homage to and mockery of Trekkies, the action was well paced, the plot was believable (well, you know, believable within the context of being a zombie book) and there was even character development! A true Trekkie would probably enjoy this even more than I did – get more of the jokes and so on. I’m not a Trekkie myself, but I married into a family of them. So I know a little bit about the shows and fan culture, but not a lot. That didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all, though. If you don’t mind the gore, this was a pretty lighthearted book overall, and a good way for me to dip my toe in the zombie water.

Get it! Amazon, Barnes & Noble

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Zombie Twofer

First, let me preface this by saying that I’m not really into zombies. Most zombie movies are reviewed enthusiastically for me by my husband, followed by a “and you should never watch it”. What can I say? I’m a wimp about violence.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed these two books, and they continue to make the cut when I do one of my frequent cullings of my paperback collection.  I’ve rated them both as a “recommended if” because even though I really liked them, I recognize that they are definitely not for everyone.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-SmithAmazon, Barnes & Noble.

This book is exactly what the title says: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice retooled to include zombies. The idea is funny enough (to me and maybe 6 other people out there), but it’s also well executed. There are some parts nearer the latter third where it feels a bit like he ran out of steam and is just trying to wrap it up, but his take on many classic scenes are just priceless. Occasionally he dips into what I’m going to call “junior high boy humor”, but for the most part it’s just a funny, irreverent read.

Bottom Line: Funny concept and good follow through, with a few exceptions.

Rating: Recommended if: 1) you would voluntarily read Pride and Prejudice for fun and 2) you think the idea of sticking zombies in there is hilarious.

Zombie Survival Guide (2003) by Max BrooksAmazon, Barnes & Noble.

This book also is exactly as described by the title: it’s a manual on how to plan for and survive the zombie apocalypse. Given that it’s laid out as an instructional manual, some folks might find it a bit dry. However, I thought it was completely fascinating. I tend to be a “what if” thinker, and like to plan ahead for worst-case scenarios. Zombies are definitely your worst-case scenario. It was a fun mental exercise in “ok, if this, or something like this, happened, what would I do? Where would I go?” There are also explanations of how the zombie virus spreads and how it affects the human body, and a section that contains reports of past outbreaks. If you’re not sure if you’re interested in the book or not, I’d recommend finding it in a book store and flipping through this section. It’s the most novel-like part – essentially a collection of zombie short stories. Brooks (son of Mel) also wrote World War Z, which I’ve heard is very good (especially the audiobook), but it was rated too gruesome for me by my zombie screening committee.

Bottom Line: A book for the plan-ahead-for-every-possible-contingency sci fi lover in your life.

Rating: Recommended if:  you’ve ever wondered how to best prepare yourself for a post-apocalyptic scenario.

*If you use these links to make a purchase, Lector’s Books may receive a small commission. This will not affect your price or purchasing experience in any way.