Night of the Living Trekkies
by Kevin David Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Night of the Living Trekkies / 978-1-59474-463-1
I'm a big fan of zombie literature, but being a rather niche genre like it is, it's hard to consistently find new and well-done material. When I selected "Night of the Living Trekkies" to review, however, I was expecting something a little more parody based, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the novel is really quite a superb example of how to do zombie literature correctly. And although the novel calls out Trekkies in the title, people who are merely passingly familiar with the Star Trek series needn't worry - the colorful backdrop of the Star Trek convention is explained with enough detail to quickly acclimate the reader, but with a remarkable restraint and economy; really, this is almost the perfect way to handle niche genre matter.
Going in to the novel, I was a little concerned that the conceit of a Star Trek convention might be used as an excuse to play the main characters as blind to the obvious growing apocalypse long after any sane individual would realistically do so, but this isn't the case - the main characters are all delightfully Genre Savvy enough to figure out pretty quickly what the score is, and it's not long before they've all knuckled down to deal with the situation at hand. This is exactly what zombie literature *should* be, in my opinion - too much of the genre is dominated by either too much build-up at the start or too much navel-gazing at the safe spots in between (see also "Xombies") - and it's refreshing to see characters handle an apocalypse the same way most readers assume they themselves would at this point: with a minimum of disbelief, and enough shock and adrenaline to power through to the end.
"Night of the Living Trekkies" is only about 250 pages long, and fast readers will be able to plow through it in an afternoon, but the short length here really *works* - it's a tight-clenched ride through an extremely tense night of zombie mayhem, and never succumbs to the temptation to bog down in tedium, leaving me personally unable to put the book down after the first few chapters. Long-time fans of zombie literature will undoubtedly welcome this new offering into their libraries, as long as they can enjoy a touch of Star Trek and Star Wars themed trivia. Whether or not people approaching this as parody literature (a la "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies") will be satisfied remains to be seen - there isn't really an underlying story here besides the overarching apocalypse narrative, but the characters are deep and relatable, with a surprising level of characterization and growth throughout, so it's hard to imagine anyone being dissatisfied with the novel at large.
NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through Amazon Vine.
~ Ana Mardoll
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