Sunday, June 17, 2012

You Got Your Star Wars all over my Zombies!

For my long-time readers this isn’t really news, but for the few of you who haven’t been here before, here is some important background info: 1) I (Bookmonkey) love horror, 2) Zombie stories are some of my favourite examples of the sub-genre, 3) I’m not really a fan of mash-ups.

My problem with mash-ups comes down to the cultural juggernaut that is Glee.  Basically, rather than write songs of their own, they spent a lot of the first season wrecking personal favourite songs of mine (I stopped watching about halfway through the season), and in the sixth episode the concept of the Mash-up was introduced to popular culture, (NOTE: Of course I know mash-ups have been in existence for over a decade now) or at least to me, which meant that the show could ruin twice as many of my favourite songs at a time.

Literary mash-ups really got going recently with the introduction of the book Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, by Seth Graham-Smith.  Interestingly enough the very same month P&P&Z came out, a little book by Joe Schreiber also came out, called Star Wars: Death Troopers.

In addition to loving zombies (well, loving zombie stories, I wouldn’t want to have any over for dinner), I am a pretty big fan of Star War.  I’m not as good a fan as my BFF Mike (who has written his own review of Death Troopers here), for instance I still prefer to call the Ithorian Momaw Nadon Hammerhead, because that’s what I called him for years.  Anyway, as Mike and I have been reading parallel genre fiction for years (he focuses on Science Fiction while I tend to focus on Horror) it is a pretty rare story that brings us together.  Last time it was the Canadian horror film Splice.

The book is really fast.  Clocking in at 234 pages I read the whole thing in about two days of bus trips, coffee breaks and lunches.  The story follows a traditional biological-based zombie outbreak (think ...28 days later) set on a prison ship about a year before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.

I actually found the book to be a lot of fun – it was considerably less gruesome than the last zombie book I read (the classic Zombie anthology Book of the Dead – more on that next week), and the Star Wars stuff didn’t overwhelm the delicious taste of zombie (again I mean figuratively, who on earth would eat literal zombie?).  Did the story work?  Absolutely, it was fun, scary and probably a little more visceral than most Star Wars fans are used to.

I guess it could be considered a gateway book for fans of Space Opera who really need to up their zombie quotient (which by the way is all of them!)

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