Series: MONSTER/ZOMBIE SERIES
Plot Type: UF--Horror
Ratings: V-5; S-1; H-1
Publisher and Titles:
Monster Island (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2004)
Monster Nation (prequel, Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006)
Monster Planet (Running Press, 2007)
Wellington's twist is to include a handful of sentient zombies with psychic abilities who can control and draw power from other zombies. The series becomes increasingly supernatural and somewhat muddled as a mad Druid sorcerer, ghosts, animated mummies, and an evil zombie master seeking world domination get pulled into the plots.
In Monster Island, a group of survivors crosses the Atlantic from Africa to New York City in search of medicines. The story follows two characters: Dekalb, a survivor (a UN weapons inspector) who has left his young daughter in Somalia while he travels to New York, and Gary, a sentient zombie who chose to go the undead route when he thought there was no other way out. Gary was a medical student who figured out that most of the zombies lost their ability to think because of oxygen loss, so he hooked himself up to a dialysis machine and an oxygen mask just before he became undead. Gary has retained his ability to speak and think and also discovers that he can draw power from the undead.
Monster Nation traces the initial outbreak and spread of the zombie plague and follows three characters: Nilla, a sentient zombie (although she has lost her memory of her human life); Richard, an armless zombie who operates like a killer automaton; and Bannerman Clark, a straight-laced National Guard officer who lays his life on the line to stop the zombie plague. This story is interrupted regularly by news bulletins and diary entries. The reader should pay particular attention to the Lab Notes from 2004 and 2005.
Monster Planet continues the story twelve years later with Dekalb's daughter, Sarah, who is still fighting the zombies. This book ends with an apocalyptic battle for the future of humankind. The zombie attacks are as gruesome and bloody as you would expect in horror fiction. The survivors and the sentient zombies are presented in a sympathetic manner.
You really feel their pain. If you are addicted to AMC's The Walking Dead and can't wait until next fall for some more zombie gore, this series will get you through the winter. Here's an example of the dark humor sprinkled sparsely throughout the series.
In the following scene from Monster Nation, Bannerman Clark has been battling zombies for weeks. Now he's forced to meet with Special Agent Purslane Dunnstreet, an eccentric national security expert who has spent years in her cluttered office planning how the U.S. should retaliate against every apocalyptic threat she can imagine:
"An aged woman in an immaculate business suit rose from
behind a desk and hurried toward them. Her face was a white
porcelain mask, unmoving, so slack and bloodless that Clark
reached for [his] sidearm....
'I'm not dead yet, Captain,' the woman said, her mouth an
unmoving slot in the middle of her face.
'Botox,' the Civilian whispered behind his hand." (page 178)