At one time, zombies, vampires, and werewolves used to be staples of the horror genre. In more recent years, they’ve begun to turn up in paranormal romance, often as desirable love interests. But Matt Mikalatos avoids both horror and romance in Night of the Living Dead Christian, his chronicle of the undead. The result is a humorous allegorical story, what you might call monster fiction with a purpose.
The idea that mythic creatures–living or undead–can be used in a symbolic way isn’t a new one. In a Publisher’s Weekly article, Sara Wendell stated that “Paranormal stories…reflect many of humanity’s continuing struggles. Vampires represent our struggle with mortality, and werewolves and shape-shifters our struggle with rage and insanity.”
Matt Mikalatos interprets these creatures in his own way, as a reflection of people in different stages of relationship (or lack thereof) with God. He not only explores the most common undead creatures in the context of the story, but he also includes an appendix entitled Are You A Monster: A Layman’s Self-Diagnosis Guide to Common Monstrosities, which explores human weaknesses by associating different personality types with monsters.
I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of the undead, so I might not have picked up the book if it weren’t for the blog tour. But I have to say, I’m impressed at how the author took common genre tropes and reframed them from a Christian perspective to reflect Biblical truths. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, and one that works for the most part. I’ll explore the implication of his approach more in my review on Wednesday.
I’m curious to learn the perspective of the readers of this blog and members of the blog tour. Are vampires, werewolves, and the like a turn off or an attraction to you in a book?
If you’re interested in learning more about this unique story, I encourage you to stop by the blogs of other tour members and see what they have to say:
Thomas Clayton Booher
Thomas Fletcher Booher
Morgan L. Busse
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson