Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos

Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos

With a title like Night of the Living Dead Christian readers would think the main character is a zombie who believes (or maybe not) in Christ. The main character is actually a werewolf named Luther Martin who used to believe in Christ. He's the next door neighbor of Matt Mikalatos, a bumble-headed Christian who used to watch monster movies as a kid and is now a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. He discovers not only Luther but also a mad scientist with his robot henchman, a monster hunter, and a high school friend who is now a vampire. And a horde of zombies, too. All these characters have varying levels of Christian faith.

Mikalatos narrates the story for the most part. It begins as very lighthearted comedy, almost frivolous. Mikalatos teams up with the scientist and his robot and initially they want to kill the werewolf. They can't find silver bullets so they get some pocket change and some sling shots and try to kill him with silver coins, which was very funny. They soon discover Luther wants to escape his bestial nature and begin to help him on the path back to Jesus, to a way of life not dominated by lower passions.

The book has a lot of serious bits as well. Occasional chapters are reflections by Luther on his problems and where he is in the story. He starts as a bitter ex-Christian who does want to change from being a beast but doesn't know how to do it. Another character has a history of serious domestic abuse from which she is recovering.

The comedy and the drama are fairly well-blended though the book is much more comedy. The look at Christianity is interesting but not super-deep. It seems like a good launching point for deeper discussions. The book has a discussion guide at the back, so maybe that was the plan all along.

There was one thing to which I had a negative visceral reaction: at one point, the scientist says he tried to clone Jesus from the Catholic Eucharist but was unsuccessful. Being Catholic, that made me shudder.

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