Zombie Killing Stoners
Author(s): C. Che Bhalin and Professor B.T. Mienore’
Publication Date: 2013
I got sent this first episode (of what can only presume will become a saga) to review very kindly from the authors and with such a fantastic name was expecting a humorous literature equivalent of Bong of the Dead or Pot Zombies.
The prologue for this story begins by setting expectations for “a tale of Homeric proportions”, no doubt due to its seemingly episodic nature although this is where such illusions of grandeur must end as the story is set in a parallel universe where President Romney has married and impregnated Kim Kardashian, although none of this has any relevance, it does help set the scene for both the state of America and the level of the book.
After the prologue the story begins as a series of serious news bulletins although the use of real-world known characters and comical names betrays the credibility of the fictional world, removing the readers suspension of belief but at least informs us, that the zombie virus spread from North Korea, although we are still left guessing as to the type of zombies we are soon to be dealing with.
Sadly the humour is very much hit and miss while the tone does not match the subject matter and delivery, particularly in the opening few pages, and as such there is a strong disconnect which hampers the enjoyment of the dragged out opening chapter in which the authors fail to recognise that there is only so much emotional involvement that can be gained from news report after news report, especially in the absence of any characters related to the story or real context above what was flimsily provided in the prologue.
I actually worked out around 15% of the story was taken up by these news reports, representing a serious misjudgement by the authors and rather than help lay the foundations for a strong story due to its length it merely provided a lesson in tedium.
Once the story finally begins with part 1 episode 1, it is almost like the previous background has been made redundant, however in a bid to be balanced I do like the idea of naming episodes in the story, to give almost a cinematic feel to the proceedings.
Finally, I hear you say what of the actual story? Well, the zombie apocalypse hits New York as millions seek to escape, a small band of survivors wait out the initial evacuation in a high rise in Lower Manhattan before deciding enough is enough and prepare to make their escape. This story has potential for both action and character development, and while the authors do attempt to give us these key components it is a shame they cannot successfully pull it off.
Electing to use the Romero-style zombie, as in slow and killed with a blow to the head this greatly appealed to me although, one again the negative aspects overpower the positive and we go back to the idea of suspension of disbelief, the characters in the story are un-relateable and quite frankly absurd – small time drug dealers who are ex-special forces living in a apartments filled with drugs and high-powered weapons where they pay over $60k a month in rent, if that wasn’t enough it almost seems like the authors come up with more and more incredible stories added at random throughout the chapters, almost as if they didn’t have any character backgrounds plotted out but just thought it would be cool to add this and that and to hell with it.
Sadly it does not stop there, the story seems poorly constructed and at parts I was thinking what the hell is going on as the authors fail to describe or inform the reader of many key points which may or may not be incoherently referenced later leaving too much for the reader to put together making one illogical and infuriating composition.
It is a shame as there may be a good story here somewhere but the lack of preparation sorely hampers its power and consistency.
Also, while I am all for breaking convention, the use of speech marks for characters inner thoughts is a very odd decision, are they speaking aloud to themselves or is it a mistake? A person could go mad over thinking the decisions (or mistakes) of these two authors. Related to this, one of the positives is actually the dialogue in places which can be witty and engaging, it’s just a shame that this is lost amongst all the ill-decisions and mistakes.
Lack of preparation and poor proof reading let this story down beyond repair which is a shame as there are positives such as an interesting premise and decent dialogue and when the writers concentrate some decent descriptive scenes but ultimately how two authors can willingly put out such an incomplete piece of work is beyond me and they would be better off starting again and paying a bit more attention to the story construct.
Too many cooks spoil the broth and also the zombie apocalypse it seems. Check out Beer Run of the Dead for a better fix of waster killing zombie action.