Sunday, October 5, 2014

Indie Book Corner: Going Green by Christina McMullen

Quick reminder for those not familiar with my so called “reviews”.  I don’t review media in a traditional sense, that is to say that I don’t typically leave a score or rating unless I’m posting on a site that demands that sort of thing.  I don’t feel that I can adequately encapsulate my experience with a game or book or movie into a numbered score or even a lettered one.  I also don’t see a point in it.  If you typically read reviews for recommendations then I do typically leave a list of pros and cons of the material.

Going Green, by Christina McMullen is an ebook that I came across through an indie author group on Google+.  I have no idea which group it was because I’ve joined quite a few.  I caught this book, I believe, upon its very first release day.  It was free on day one and I snapped it up as fast as I could.  I did so partly to support another indie (with non-money) and partly to satisfy my curious reading habit.  It took me a while but I finally got around to reading it after a few months.

I found Going Green to be a clever, witty, and very original take on the clich├ęd zombie apocalypse genre.  Inside its pages I found a very sardonic and humorous take on life before, during, and after a future zombie outbreak.  The book is cynical as hell in its depiction of the reaches of mankind and how we have taken our carelessness into space and relegated NASA to space tourism duties.  A series a bad decisions involving drugs, explosions, space shuttles, showmanship, and radiation is made by a few characters and leads to the apocalyptic outbreak.  We see selfish government cover-ups, public ignorance, and poor decision-making in spades.  It’s just like the present day, except in Christina McMullen’s bleak future it’s hilarious.  We glimpse all this through well told vignettes featuring multiple characters.  Each character brings something new to the apocalyptic tale and most I found to be humorous.  There was probably a bit of inappropriate laughing on my part as well.  I laughed a lot while reading this book.

I found all the set-ups here to be utterly plausible.  It was a future that I could clearly envision as I read the book, sadly enough.  Even outlandish scenes like the one involving a certain small time rock star – ahem – that is to say the Zombie Apocalypse Rock God Jaden Winslow – seemed plausible in this type of bleak future.  Imagine yourself on a day that could be the turning point for your future.  You’re set to have something really big happen for you, something positive that could change your life for the better.  Now imagine on that day, as you’re planning all the major details, one of your friends tells you that you can’t go through with it because of a zombie outbreak.  Some of you might just lose it and go a little stir-crazy.  Some of you, like me, might just do something a little stupid, reckless, and cathartic in response to the madness.

I’m not a big fan of zombies—at all.  I find them to be a boring trope, genre, creature, concept, or whatever you want to call them.  There’s some interesting ideas to be found in the concept but it’s been done to death (no pun intended) and not well I believe.  Once you’ve seen one shuffling brain-dead meat monster, you’ve seen ‘em all.  With all that said, I still found there to be a treasure trove of fresh and cool ideas in this short read.

The way the future is setup is pretty neat.  Space has become this “been there, done that” sort of thing and so now corporations have set up shop and begun making loads of dough on interplanetary tourism.  I also liked the fact that certain characters made viral videos in space and documented themselves as being the first to do something in space to get in the Guinness record books, even if that something was super mundane.  These zombies are also “different” in that they aren’t undead.  I don’t believe that’s a spoiler, it doesn’t really spoil anything.  In every other way these zombies do seem to behave like the stereotypical zombie in whatever media you choose to view them.  They’re slow, unintelligible, disease filled, and crave human flesh.  They are different in one major way apart from all that though, but revealing that would spoil a very interesting chapter and I aint gonna do that.

I loved just about every part of this book and think I’ll read it again pretty soon.  It was a very short read.  You can probably finish it during a long lunch break or siesta if you’re lucky enough to have those.  I didn’t find that to be a problem for this title.  It honestly made its point in its eighty-five pages.  I sat up late one night reading til about three in the morning, laughing like a madman.  I honestly don’t have any negatives unless you count that this book has made me a little self-conscious of my own writing.  Good books always tend to do that though so I just need to work on my humor more and read more good books.

Ya Dig!:
+Scary possible future
+Highly cynical
+Interspersed with humor
+Clever ideas and imaginative world
+Outlandishness grounded in reality
+Zombies are different
+Smooth read

Watch out for:
-Short book length (though the pacing does feel good)

And that's about it, but don't just take my word for it.  Go check it out yourself with the links below.  Tell me what you think and as always, my glorious readers, thanks for the browse!

Author’s Blog

Amazon Book Link

Goodreads Book Link

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