Being the mom of three boys and also wife, I am clearly out- numbered when the family is gathered at the Kinleystead.
"Mom, why do you always fall asleep during movies?" asked one son several years ago.
Duh? Consider the movies which have been traditional Kinley family viewing.
Several years ago I was forced to set some boundaries for myself: I don't do Antarctica, submarines, space, futuristic, ninjas, or over-the-top action and c.g. In contrast, I actually do enjoy war movies. "Saving Private Ryan" and "Blackhawk Down" being among two of my all-time favorites. My rules can be suspended on a movie-by-movie basis (but don't tell the guys this). Basically, I enjoy good character development and relationships between people; if this happens in a movie, I like it. The same would go for books, if I had the time to read a lot.
Zombies? Hummmm... not a real fan. But, when my husband writes a zombie book, it kinda becomes required reading.
Enter "The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook" (Thomas Nelson/Oct. 2011). This book is a full zombie novel and also a full non-fiction book. The book's layout alternates between fiction episodes and non-fiction chapters. Being the rebel that I am, I chose to read the fiction first.
"The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook" (the novel) is an engaging, fast-moving story with excellent character development (See? This is why I enjoyed it so much. I even cried.) The book does not tie-up every bit of the story in a nice, neat bow; something a new generation will appreciate, and something the old-schoolers will protest. Instead, the story line taunts the reader with a strong desire to know more of the Forman family and their adventures in this pre-zombie apocalyptic world created by Kinley.
As a reader, I hope there will be more of the Forman story in the future.
I have already stated that I am not a zombie fan, so I zeroed in on the relationships - particularly the strong bond between the two brothers and also the sons to their mother. I must repeat: excellent character development!
The graphic novel illustrations at every episode's beginning clearly set the story up as tongue-in-cheek with several laugh-out-loud comic relief sections. It is a serious story, but not to be taken too seriously; I liked this!
The story is not "cliche", but is "classic", and there is a huge difference. The author draws from zombie culture enough to be a credible zombie writer but does so with his own unique twists and interpretations. This book is Jeff Kinley's zombie world, and he is in charge. I am certain that zombie enthusiasts will enjoy discussing their likes and dislikes of what zombies "should/should not" do and be. And for the zombie peeps that is part of the fun.
For me, I am probably not gonna add "zombies" to my must-not watch or read list... yet... because "The Christian Zombie Killer Handbook" shattered all my expectations of what I thought a zombie novel would be.
Stay tuned for my review of "The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook" - the non-fiction.