Book Review: Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
“The things inside her…told her. They seem to have some sort of telepathic ability. They share information.”
“Great,” Gary said. “Cloud-computing zombies.”
“Exactly,” Jim said. “T’Poc even used the word ‘network’. These things are connected to some kind of central information hub.”
Jim Pike was the world 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?
Night of the Living Trekkies is published by Quirk, the same publisher that brought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and i had no idea what to expect when I first received it. Twice I have read this book and both times I loved it. It does a fantastic job of balancing humour with the other events that take place. Embracing some zombie stereotypes and exploring new ideas, this is an adventure that I am sure I will read at least once more in the future.
The biggest issue I had with this book is that some of the dialogue between characters reminds you that these aren’t real people. Comments seem shoehorned in to make a character come come across more witty and I found this to be grating at times.
There are points in the book where Jim is a strong character who knows exactly what to do and others where he isn’t sure about himself and wants to end it all. I don’t feel that there is a smooth transition between these periods and it seems very abrupt. Jim’s past of spending time in Afghanistan helps explain why he feels the way he does but I didn’t like the fact that his outlook switched so suddenly.
The time span of the book lasts about twelve hours and by the end of the book, Jim and Leia are madly in love and wish to get married. I understand having a love interest in the book to help drive the plot and raise the stakes but to be so involved with eachother in such a short amount of time did not work for me.
Not once, during this book, did I get bored. The story moves at a steady and comfortable pace without any of it becoming a chore. It felt to me that all of the plot points were necessary without anything being added to try and make the story longer. This kept you right in the moment at all times.
Ideas are introduced into this story which I think brings a fresh take to the old, stale zombie stereotype. Many zombie stories incorporate the idea of a virus causing the zombie outbreak and this is no different. What is different, however, is that it adds some depth to this by adding new weaknesses in the form of an eye appearing somewhere on the body, and strengths like all of the zombies being able to communicate through a hive mind.
The title of this book is ‘Night of the Living Trekkies’ and it is set at a Star Trek convention which means you are going to be facing a LOT of Star Trek references. The authors have made this work amazingly well with none of the references feeling too out of place or annoying. Not once did I feel that the references took me out of the story for the sake of making a reference to please Star Trek fans. They were added thoughtfully and purposefully and I appreciated that.
‘Night of the Living Trekkies’ is an excellent read for anyone who loves both Star Trek and George A. Romero movies. The blend of humour and horror in this book was so fun to read and I found the time to pass quickly whenever I picked this up. Despite its pitfalls with the romantic relationship, it holds up in most of the other areas and is not ruined by it. If you find yourself stuck and want something lighthearted and easy to read, then pick up ‘Night of the Living Trekkies’.
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