Monsterland Review

From time to time this book has popped up on Twitter in the last year or so since WordFire Press published it, and I have to admit that every time it pissed me off just a little bit.
This is such a great concept that it made me constantly wonder angrily why it took this long for somebody to think of this, hell why didn’t I think of it!?
The idea, at its most simple, is Jurassic Park meets the Universal Monsters, with a touch of political allegory.
But concept and execution are 2 vastly different things.
Can it live up to the genius concept?

As always, this is your ***Official Spoiler Warning***

Wyatt Baldwin and his monster obsessed friends are in their senior year.
But an obsession with monsters in this universe doesn’t mean you never miss an episode of Walking Dead or Supernatural, it means if you go to the seedier parts of town you could possibly run across a starving vampire or find a rotting corpse searching for a fleshy meal.
A pandemic broke out 2 years ago and now a billionaire, Dr. Vincent Konrad, has swooped in to try to save the world from the blight of these assorted beasts with 7 Monsterland theme parks on 6 continents.
Wyatt is in awe of Dr. Konrad and his philanthropic ways, but his newly christened step-dad isn’t impressed.

The worst thing I can say about this novel is that it moves a little too fast.
The vast majority of it takes place in the single night that the park opens, which makes sense, but it speeds along too quickly.
I would’ve loved to have lived in this world for a longer period.
Yes, Okon has said this is the 1st of a series (book 2 is out, he’s in the process of writing 3 & 4), but I wanted this introductory installment to last longer.
Like I’ve said time and again about Shamble, I really want to know more about this world.
The teases of future expansions to the park add to that wondering.
Now, if “this bastard left me wanting more” is the worst thing I can say, is that really a bad thing?

There is a fun sense of unease once they get into the park and you see the 3 different Monsters in their “natural habitat”.
Seeing the layout, the background, and the bullshit Konrad is spinning about the park is incredibly interesting, especially once it all starts unraveling.
And that’s key, when all hell breaks loose, it really hits its stride.

There are a couple moments that feel predictable early on, but he pulls a swerve in the end and doesn’t follow what feels like the obvious path and the book benefits from that.
For instance, early on a few too many mentions of Wyatt’s allegedly dead biological father telegraph that something is coming on that front.
He’s described as being a rather distant and cold lawyer that died and left his money to some “hole-in-the-wall charity”, so my guess was that he would be one of the masterminds behind the park.
Yeah, that isn’t the case…not by a long shot.
It was such a surprise and leads to a pretty impactful development with Wyatt’s stepdad that’s sure to come back around in the next book.

Like any good coming of age story, Wyatt has his eye on a seemingly unattainable girl, it follows the path of the 1st Sam Raimi Spider-Man in that respect.
This nerdy kid, who has more friends than Peter Parker, pines for the girlfriend of the school football star, Jade.
I really think her arc is probably my favorite.
In the earlier chapters, Jade comes off as that super cute girl next door.
But by the end of the book a history of darkness is revealed and she gets to have one of the most kick ass moments in the story.
I hope the sequel picks that thread up and runs with it.

Bottom line, it does live up to its concept and takes it interesting places, executing and elevating.
It’s shorter than you’d hope, but I wonder if that’s purposefully done to make you want to dive into the sequel even faster.
For a book I keep calling short and fast, I’ve barely scratched the surface on the many storylines, but I’ll leave those for you to discover.
Half of me wants to say run out and grab this now, but the other half of me wants to tell you to hold off until book 3 comes out.
I think you’ll devour these 1st 2 fast and immediately be hungry for more.

Share this lost on Twitter with the hashtag #TNBBookReview

Special thanks to @acferrell1976 for her editorial help.

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Episode 059: You’d Be a Pincushion In Prison

1 0ycyUQqtYvWDFrUJlaYUCwIn this episode, the fellas are getting a wee bit hot button this time as they touch on the whole GotG Vol.3 situation and lay the pipe for their own Disney firings 10 years down the line.

DITKO, DEAD!

…also leads to a discussion on credits and creators, Doom finally watched Luke Cage and tells ya what he thought of it while making a connection Fitz hadn’t, and Fitz won’t watch the Fantastic Beasts 2 trailer even though Doom wants him too.

Fitz saw Black Panther, then he tells Doom some Walking Dead news, they kinda sorta go all over the place, tease what’s coming next ep, then sign off

…and proceed to keep on fuckin’ yappin’… Enjoy!

URL: Episode 059: You’d Be a Pincushion In Prison
Direct Download: tnb059.mp3

Episode 035: Zeus Spunked On Some Clay

wonder-woman-1680x1050-gal-gadot-hd-4k-2017-2361In this episode, the fellas dive deep into some comic bookery again, this time with extremely mixed reactions.

They start out talking about Fitz’s kill count climbing ever higher then, too boost their mood, the pimp @HolidazeComics (as teased in 33.5) before reviewing some movies!

Train wrecks, The Great War gets Wonderfully Womanly, and some sweet comic flow gets ruined by a bloated comic crossover in fΩ€k this s#!t.

All that and more than you can shake a stick at in this sexified new Ep of The Nerd Blitz.

 

URL: Episode 035: Zeus Spunked On Some Clay
Direct Download: tnb035.mp3
YouTube: https://youtu.be/m7CZlcbX5go