Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Genre: Horror / Action
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?
A plague has spread across the world affecting parts of the population and turning them essentially into zombies. Dr. Vincent Conrad has the perfect solution for the World’s zombie problem. Countries have them contained, but cannot come up with a decision on how to move forward. After Dr. Vincent discovered the last of the populations of Vampires and Werewolves, he has decided to open theme parks- Monsterland- across the world with attractions such as Vampire Village, Werewolf River Run and Zombieville. With a mission stated to research and find a cure, Monsterland opens with a bang. Lucky enough to land a special invite- Wyatt Baldwin, his brother and a few classmates are among the first guests.
This is a Young Adult paranormal, a bit like Jurassic Park but with Monsters. I really liked the theme park idea, but some of the monsters fell a little flat. Although, they were probably as realistic as monsters could get; if Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies existed, the Werewolves would hide in the thick Everglades, the Vampires would be a dying breed who can only turn others with sex and can survive on animal blood and the Zombies would be plague victims able to be killed by any normal means. I was not surprised by how quickly they revolted once they realized they were prisoners in Monsterland. The suspense built quickly and the action quickly turned gory. Steeped with teen drama, many of the students were more interested in their relationship status. Dr. Vincent was the most intriguing character. His intentions seemed devious from the start, but I had no idea how far he would take it. I was very surprised by the ending when his plan came to the surface. Another character that shone for me was Wyatt’s best friend, Melvin. Melvin is completely obsessed with Werewolves and is not afraid to be exactly who he is. I think he probably came out with the best deal. Overall, a good concept with a bit of a different twist on the classic monsters and some good parallels to concentration camps.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning and best-selling novelist of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels. He's written ten books including the best-selling “Brood X”, “Stillwell”, “The Flip”, “The After House”, “The Hanging Tree”, “Witches Protection Program”, “Pokergeist”, "Monsterland", "The History Major", and “Battle for Darracia” series. Michael’s books are on the Amazon best-seller list and have also won numerous awards. Additionally, he is a screenwriter with 14 specs under his belt. Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island.
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“What’s up with you, Howard Drucker? I thought you wanted to go.” Wyatt turned, looking at his friend’s pinched face.
“Yeah, that was before, this is now.”
Melvin hooked his arm around the headrest. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Howard shrugged indifferently.
“Come on,” Melvin said impatiently.
“In theory it sounded like a great idea. You know, seeing vampires, zombies, and werewolves in their natural habitat.”
“The point is, this,” he gestured to the massive gates now in eyesight. “It seems unnatural. It feels—”
“What? Wrong? What else are they going to do with them? Kill them like in an old Boris Karloff movie? This is so right,” Melvin said hotly. “They were dying in those detention camps.”
“Containment camps,” Howard corrected.
“Whatever.” Melvin went on. “The hillbillies practically wiped out the werewolf colony once it was discovered. Vampires lived in fear, almost harried out of existence. Here they are protected. If they did that to the rhinos, maybe they wouldn’t have become extinct.”
“It’s sterile, not real!” Howard was leaning over the front seat.
“What happened to you? You were so excited about it,” Wyatt asked.
“This was all over YouTube this morning.” He typed something on his phone and then showed them the screen. It looked like a dilapidated portion of any American city. The image was filmed in a choppy fashion, bouncing around, going in and out of focus. The Werewolf River Run sign was in the viewfinder. Uniformed men, some with lab coats, entered the ride area. The camera panned out to view an artificial river with alligators rhythmically rising and falling in the choppy water. There was a rustle and then shouts. A howl turned into a wail, and all four boys watched, their collective breaths held.