Night Of The Living Trekkies
Night Of The Living Trekkies
Author(s): Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
Publisher: Quirk Fiction
Publication Date: 2010
The book follows recovering trekkie and ex-Army veteran Jim Pike, as he sleepwalks through life as the assistant manager of a small hotel in downtown Houston, but when hundreds of Trekkies and trekkers, including his nerdy sister, arrive for a science-fiction convention at the hotel, Jim finds himself surrounded by costumed Klingons, Vulcans and hundreds of savage, flesh-eating zombies!
The action takes place almost entirely in the hotel and convention centre, with Jim having to locate and save his sister and her party, not mention any stragglers (including a Princess Leia clad model and a key-note scientist speaker), leading them to freedom and safety. Blending sci-fi horror, reminiscent of Resident Evil along with Romero zombies and the ultimate in geek genre jokes, every step seems fresh but familiar as we root for our heros against the odds.
However in the issue of clarity, let me clear one thing up – I am not a trekkie or even a casual follower of the show. I can tell my Spock from my Scotty but that’s it. Although, none of that mattered when reading the book, sure I can guarantee that I missed out on subtle in-jokes here and there but I wasn’t penalised for not being a fan, and because of that I still was able to became engrossed in the book which had the perfect mix of humour, story and zombies.
All of the characters are well developed, and, if you excuse the pun, fleshed-out with this adding to the story as you began to care what happened to these people as it helps provide some justification to their actions, or lack of. Due to this, and the fantastic humour placed throughout the book it was a breeze to read through, no doubt helped by the often very short paragraphs giving the story a nice, fluid pace allowing for an easy read and an excellent short blast of zombie sci-fi action.
Zombie Fear Factor: ***
A klingon is fearsome when alive anyway, so image one staggering towards you dripping blood and wanting your brains! The world has gone to shit here and survival seems to be the best our protagonists could hope for.
In this book these creatures want your flesh and wont stop until they get them, however to make matters worse, the virus is mutating in special circumstances leading to a few intelligent zombies, who are able to control and channel their anger towards mankind. However like many humorous zombie films, fear isn’t the main objective and it would be unfair to judge the book as such.
Zombie Behaviour: ***
This is a tricky one, as like all true zombie lovers (no, not in that way), I have a clear preference for slow, idiotic, shuffling flesheaters and an instant, close-mindedness for anything other without good reason. However, this is a sci-fi book and so I was pleasantly surprised at how faithful this was to Romero’s ghouls. In this book, the zombies are pack creatures, drones almost with one basic desire and less that one brain cell between them but with a couple of major differences. The methods of despatch. Sure, the old fashioned ways of removing the head or destroying the brain work fine, but these creatures also have an odd, weird third eye on their body allowing them to subliminally communicate with the living but also which, when destroyed will also kill them…again, and this provided a nice suitable take on the whole situation.
However, I am unable to award a maximum five stars for this simply because of a couple of special zombies which I will leave you to discover yourselves.
Zombie Threat: *****
The zombies are taking over the world one nerd at a time. No one knows why, very few people know how but it’s happening. This book is filled with threat, to our hero, to his friends and family, to the hotel guests but let’s not forget the threat to the world. This outbreak smartly is not just confined to our little Trek convention but is everywhere and there are millions of zombies everywhere waiting to get a bit of anyone who makes it out alive.
Gore Content: **
Keeping one mind on the audience, this book is descriptive enough without being graphic and if this was a movie then it would easily be classified as a 15. Although it lacks any raw, visceral power the violence does its job and remains consistent with the tone of the rest of the book, and as a result it adds to the reading experience allowing you to remain immersed in the story and imagining the events as they unfold.
Overall Quality: *****
Clearly written by loving fans of Star Trek, Zombies and all things sci-fi horror, this enthusiasm comes across and is infectious, if you love zombies you will really enjoy this book and if you love Star Trek you will absolutely love it and there in lies its appeal. It’s for everyone but there is a little bit more for that most targeted of audiences.
Well paced, humorous and delivering on the zombie action front you won’t want to put this book down until you have completed your mission of reading it and that is in part down to a great, well written plot, humour and subtle nods to the genre as a whole which as perfectly placed, as opposed to shoe-horned in and enough zombie action to satisfy anyone.