Last year, I reviewed Matt Mikalatos' first book, Imaginary Jesus, which I absolutely loved, particularly from a perspective of the psychological dimensions of faith. He recently released a second book, Night of the Living Dead Christians through Tyndale House Publishers. Here is a great video interview with Matt (who happens to be a Star Trek fan, too, which makes him awesome in my book):
I've been long looking forward to reading this book, but since I've been overworking, my wife has graciously agreed to review it at this time:
The other day as I walked around Barnes and Noble, I was amazed at the sheer amount of "monster mania." It seemed like almost every single book in the fiction section featured vampire after vampire, werewolves, and zombies. There's no doubt about it, monsters are "in." And I'll admit, I do enjoy a good vampire/werewolf novel! But it seems like the genre has been...well, a little overdone.
I was a little skeptical at first that Matt Mikalatos' new book, Night of the Living Dead Christian, would be anything new. I even wondered if it might take the annoying tone of so many other Christian books, denouncing how evil a fascination with creatures might be (a.k.a. "anyone who reads Twilight is on the path to hell!") So I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much FUN this book is! You can tell that the author is a bit of a scifi/movie geek, and I mean that in a good way...there's a definite fondness for all things monster coming through the writing.
Mikalatos takes on the classic movie monsters with a great sense of humor and irreverence, playing up the stereotypes in a unique and clever way and relating them to cliched Christianity (for example, I loved the fact that the zombies were stuffing flyers praising their fearless church leader into doors around town, on a mindless mission to convert brains rather than eat them). It reads like a humorous novel, and never feels "preachy," yet grapples with some big questions and issues about our faith in an insightful way. At one point, when asked about why the werewolf doesn't consider himself a Christian, he replies "If claiming to be a Christian meant personal transformation, the world would be a far different place. As it is, I know far too many Christians who are worse men as Christians than they were as pagans." So true!
I also found interesting the way that Mikalatos inserts himself as the main character, something I have rarely if ever seen done in literature. It seems to break many of the "rules" of writing, and that's part of what makes it so awesome. It doesn't seem to be done in an arrogant way, but rather shows a snarky, self-depricating wit that is a lot of fun to share in.
All in all, this book is an enjoyable ride, and will fit nicely into any monster lover's bookshelf. I'd definitely recommend it to all my fellow "doomed to hell" Christian Twihards. ;)
I have a certificate for a free copy of the book to give away here on the blog. In order to enter, leave a comment saying why you would like a copy. You can get additional entries by (1) following me on Twitter, (2) retweeting my Tweet about this post, and (3) subscribing to my blog by email or RSS. Leave a comment on the blog letting me know you did these (if you already follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my blog, that counts). The contest will close on Sunday at midnight. I will need a way to contact you, so either leave your email address, subscribe to the comments feed, or check back here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”