Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cast
Monsterland is, like its name says, a theme park where real monsters come to live. Zombies come from humans infected with a virus, Werewolves have always been around, and Vampires sound suspiciously like Visual Kei musicians, only that they actually do drink blood. Anyway, in the park, vampires are in the top of the hierarchy (since they came here on contract, rather than being captured), then I suppose the werewolves and zombies are more or less the same.
The park is run by one Vincent Conrad, who for some reason gives Wyatt (the protagonist) VIP passes. So Wyatt, his brother, his friends and enemies and the girl he is crushing on go to the park, and of course, something terrible happens. Not going to say anything more, because that would probably be a spoiler.
The problem with Monsterland is that it has a very, very slow start. The first four chapters felt like an info-dump of who's who and what's going on. I suppose that the background knowledge was needed, but to be honest I think it could have been integrated into the park opening instead. There was also a multitude of POVs, which might have worked, but basically confused me (not to mention that there was a conspicuous absence of dialogue tags throughout the books, so if more than two people were talking - which was often - I ended up having to guess who was saying what).
The other problem that I had was that there were too many characters. To be honest, even after reading the book, I still don't really know how many kids there were. I know there was Wyatt and his brother Josh, then there were a bunch of people and I'm not sure if there were four tickets or four regular tickets and four VIP tickets. Add to the fact that Vincent Conrad can be called Vincent in one sentence and Conrad in the other and that one character alone basically turned into two (maybe he was actually a siamese twin).
These problems made the first half of the book hard for me to read. But I was really interested in seeing how Monsterland was going to fail (because Jurassic Park did), so I read on. The second half of the book was much better, because once the action started, it was a pretty fun read. I won't say that the ending was perfect (it was an almost too coincidental plot twist), but at least it's a sort of good guys win kind of thing.
If you're a huge fan of Jurassic Park and monsters, you may be interested in reading this book. Be prepared for a confusing start, though.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a free and honest review.