Book Review: Monsterland, by Award-Winning Author Michael Phillip CashWarning! This book is not for the faint of heart, or those hoping that the monster will turn out to be Old Man Withers in a creepy mask and Scooby-Doo will thwart his plans. No, this is a tale of real monsters and what happens when you mix them together in a theme park with a crowd of excited teenagers, celebrities, and politicians. As it asks on the back of the book, "What could possibly go wrong?"
Have you ever debated with your friends about which monster is the biggest and meanest? You know how it is; you're all sitting around and someone asks, "Who would win in a faceoff - King Kong or Godzilla?" Wyatt Baldwin (no relation to Alec), and his friends Howard and Melvin often spend their time at work debating just such deep questions. Then again, working at the Instaburger isn't exactly a demanding job. But when they win behind-the-scenes passes to the new theme park Monsterland, it looks like they will finally get to see some of the creatures they have only read about or watched as CGI and special effects in movies. So the guys, along with Wyatt's younger brother Josh, are there for the big opening night. Jade, the girl of Wyatt's dreams is also there, along with her bully of a date and her friend Keisha, who has a crush on Howard.
But wait, you say, where do the monsters come from? Well ... vampires have been around all along, living on the fringes of society. Werewolves were discovered by accident in the Everglades. And the "vitality challenged" zombies are the victims of an incurable virus and have been quarantined into detention camps to protect the rest of the world’s population. It turns out that fear of contagion from the virus has pretty much thrown the world into a steep economic decline. So the world's leaders are overjoyed that Dr. Vincent Conrad has offered to take all the infected off government hands and confine them to the multiple parks he has built around the world, and he will even use profits from the parks to research a cure.
There are those who think it sounds too good to be true, like Wyatt's parents, but his stepfather is at the park on opening night, too. He is part of the local law enforcement contingent there to help protect the VIPs. It seems like the perfect time for the kids to experience the park - heightened security from park employees, the Secret Service, and local police - special passes to see how the park is run, and the chance to finally satisfy their curiosity about the creatures they have debated about for so long. Once the park opens at sunset, the crowd rushes in to experience all the thrills and chills. And it is an experience they will never forget.
The descriptions of the various areas of the park are creepy enough to give us goose bumps. As readers, we can only imagine how spooky they would be in person. Here's a taste of the main entrance square: "The village was a parody of any Main Street ... a maze of rutted paths, buildings squeezed together from different centuries ... a bizarre assortment that jarred the nerves." The enclave for each type of monster is decorated differently. For the werewolves there are bayou-like dense vegetation, bird calls, and banjo music. The vampires have a "techno paradise" with rubber streets that muffle any sound and gleaming chrome buildings that "grew out of the black depths." Perhaps the most macabre are the pastel suburban homes set aside for the zombies, with attendants washing the blood and guts off the streets.
Author Michael Phillip Cash takes on several heavy themes in his latest story. Among them are the threat of pandemics and how governments deal with the diseases and the victims, corporate and political greed, the difficulties of divorce and blended families, bullies, and more. Whether you enjoy stories with action or mental stimulation, Monsterland has it all covered, along with the creation of a sinister atmosphere that has you glancing over your shoulder as you turn the pages. If you enjoy horror, suspense, and thrillers, then grab a copy, but take my advice - read with the lights on.
About the BookMichael Phillip Cash Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville. Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?
“Monsterland contains solid ingredients for a horror feast: stupid teens, smart teens, a little challenged romance, family dynamics, action, blood and gore. Will civilization ever be normal again? You’ll have to read it to find out. We dare you!”—The Children’s Book ReviewAges 14+ | CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | 2015 | 978-1517180676 Add this book to your collection: Monsterland Available Here: