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Posted November 18, 2009
What will YOU do when the zombies arrive??
While I am a fan of dark fiction, I have to admit that the genre has a tendency to take itself pretty seriously. I mean, for a genre of writing that focuses primarily on ghosties and ghoulies and vamps and weres and zombies, it does sometimes feel as though horror and fantasy related books and stories often seem to act as though they are above their station. So, when I was contacted by Matt Youngmark (the author of the cleverly named Zombocalypse Now, which is published by Chooseomatic Books) and offered the chance to review what he referred to as an "adult choose your own adventure" with a zombies take over the world theme, I was intrigued indeed. And then when I realized that the book is actually a parody not only of itself, but of virtually every other zombie holocaust-themed book ever written, I was hooked.
Those of you less nerdy than myself may be scratching your heads at my reference to choose your own adventure books. They were (and continue to be, actually) a series of books in which the plot plays out in numerous different ways, depending upon the order in which the book is read, which is governed by choices made by the reader. They used to be incredibly popular among bookworms the world over, and new volumes are still being released today. Generally, they plots are horror, action/adventure, or mystery-based, and the main character is you.
In Zombocalypse Now, however, you happen to be a love-starved, pink stuffed bunny just trying to get a little action.
On page one, you are sitting in a restaurant, awaiting the arrival of your most recent blind internet dating acquisition. When they arrive, something about their slack jawed demeanor seems a bit off (although it is not much more "off" than any of your other recent blind dates). Things steadily go downhill from this point, as zombie mayhem begins to ensue, as it undoubtedly will in the not so distant future.
From page three, you begin to make decisions that will shape your adventure and overall success or failure in the new, zombie-ridden reality in which you find yourself immersed. Choice one: ditch your date (whose BO has become increasingly offensive), or continue with dinner and see if the evening can be salvaged.
All in all, there are a total of 112 different possible outcomes, each one shaped by the decisions you make while facing the zombie scourge. And, as the book's cover points out, there are 7 endings that do not result in your zombie-related demise. That's about a 5% chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse, which (according to my preliminary calculations) is much better odds than you would have when the zombies really do take over the world.
Not to mention that some of the decisions that you are forced to make in the book will likely help to ensure that you are at the top of your mental game when the zombies actually do take over. That's nothing to sneeze at.
All in all, this was a fun and entertaining read. In fact, it actually became a group project at my house. My daughter and I were reading aloud and trying to find each one of the endings (we are currently up to about 30, although I have read through the book for the sake of review purposes [and possible to cheat a little.]
Five star read!!
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Posted July 8, 2012
Posted December 27, 2009
Oh my god, I haven't done one of these since I was a kid!
And apparently, I forgot how awesome they were. This is a must-buy for any zombie fan.
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