Friday, October 26, 2012

CBR4 #39: Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson

I have recently had to admit to myself that I have become a Trekkie. Mind you, this DOES NOT mean that I am going to put on some go-go boots, pick up a phaser, and go stand in line to catch a glimpse of Leonard Nimoy. But when you live with a person who has to have Star Trek playing in order to go to sleep at night, you pick things up, whether you want to or not. Now, I don't know much about the original series, since The Boyfriend does not understand camp and thus does not enjoy the original. I have, however, seen pretty much every episode of Next Generation, Deep Space Nine (ugh), and Voyager at LEAST once, probably multiple times. I'm not aware of every piece of trivia, but should the conversation turn to Klingon battle philosophy or the plight of the oppressed Bajorans, I can hold my own. I have even been known to say things (out in public, no less--how embarrassing) like "We are not the Borg! Just because one of us knows something doesn't mean we ALL know it!" It is this shameful side of my personality that made this book so much fun.

Night of the Living Trekkies takes place at a Star Trek convention in Houston. Army veteran Jim Pike works at the hotel where the convention is taking place. He lives a life of trying to avoid responsibility, since his time in Afghanistan has led him to loathe being responsible for anyone but himself. However, things begin to get weird at the convention--and not in the normal kind of way. Jim finds himself leading a small group of survivors through what seems to be a zombie apocalypse. He has to figure out a way to keep his team--including his younger sister, a red-shirt, a Klingon weapons maker, and Princess Leia--alive long enough to escape from Houston. Along the way, they also may discover the source of the epidemic.

This book is hilarious for those who enjoy both zombie stories and Star Trek. The winks and nudges are all there, but the story is good as well. Sometimes in parody stories the author will expend more effort with the jokes than on  the plot or the characters--that's not the case in this book. I thought that the characters were all distinct and sympathetic, and that the plot moved along in a reasonable way.

If you don't have a basic working knowledge of Star Trek, this book is not for you. If you don't find the idea of a zombified, costumed marching band called "The Seventy-Six Trom-borgs" funny, this book is probably not for you. If you are looking for a major departure from the traditional zombie story genre, this book is not for you. But if you think that you could get behind some good old-fashioned bat'leth battles and zombie fleeing, you might get a kick out of this one.

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