The video below is of the author explaining the allegory and book.
Having read Mikalatos' first book, Imaginary Jesus, I knew I was in for some laughs and self-exploration. I was not disappointed.
The story starts out with Matt, self-appointed Chief Office of the local Neighborhood Watch, patrolling his neighborhood when he runs across a mad scientist and his side-kick android conducting an experiment with a machine that will bring werewolves out of their hiding. Not only does the machine work, but it calls out a horde of zombies as well. After being chased by zombies, then nearly taken out by a werewolf, who is then wounded by a monster hunter, Matt and his new friends run for safety and contemplate the new status of the neighborhood, concluding the first chapter. It left me thinking...very entertaining, in a B-rated movie sort of way, but just where is Mikalatos going with this?
Next, enter Luther. Luther has a problem. His lack of control of his anger turns him into a monster, a werewolf to be precise. He's desperately looking for a transformation from his state of lycanthropy. He's seeking a cure for his inner monster and he thinks Christianity may be the answer, even though his upbringing under a fanatical father makes him not want to associate with Christians. Yet, he's looking for answers - for salvation - to cure him. Hence the beginning of his quest, with the assistance of Matt, the mad scientist, and the android.
One of the first stops is visiting a church unknowingly full of zombies, people who lack original thought and are unaware of their undead state, yet try to infect you with their disease. Between the zombies trying get the victims to listen to podcasts and breaking out in song and dance to a blend of polka and 1980s praise music, this chapter was by far my favorite in the book.
And so the quest continues, and the introduction of other monsters, too. A neighbor is a vampire, intensely selfish creatures that steal the life force of others for self-preservation. Matt eventually explores his own inner monster, that of a mad scientist, a person who thinks they have "the answer" to any problem and tries to fix the world. Androids are beings with stunted emotions and relationship issues. It seems monsters are everywhere. Eventually the group learns what it means to be truly transformed. The ending isn't all neat and tidy, and shows that transformation is a process.
Night of the Living Dead Christian is an allegory about transformation and become the person Christ intended. I love humor in this book and appreciate Mikalatos' willingness to approach a serious subject in such a manner, all the while digging deep down. I never thought a book with singing zombies would cause much self reflection, but I found a monster or two hiding within me. There is even a monster guide in the back of the book for a "layman's self-diagnosis". I look forward to future titles from Matt Mikalatos.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of the above title from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.