Every now and again something so unique and innovative comes along in the literary realm it resonates with you long after the fact. It’s true the popularity of zombie tales in fiction are not only in literature but film, television series, video games, comics and animation programming. The genre seems to have acquired a mainstay in entertainment for better or worse. Just when you think there’s nothing new that can be brought to the table in a borderline saturated market, one James Roy Daley delivers with a vengeance in Zombie Kong.
A fifty foot tall mutant of a gorilla has terrorized a small town of anywhere, U.S.A. Destroying and devouring all within its path the infected Kong swallows Dale Wanglund whole. We achieve some most insightful perception and emotion from the husband and father as he goes through the digestive track of the maniacal creature. Struggling to flee from inside the behemoth’s inner anatomy, his wife Candice and son Jake are riddled with panic and sheer terror. Will their immeasurable love and devotion for one another be enough to thwart the seemingly insatiable, unstoppable appetite of Kong? Or will the undead rise and obliterate all within its path of mass destruction?
I found Zombie Kong so intriguing and captivating that I’ll confess I’d engaged in a little over indulgence and read it cover to cover in one sitting. The literary prose is unprecedented and despite the fact the tale is presented in novella format I’m positive I’d approach the read with the same enthusiastic vigor if it were a six hundred or one thousand page epic. Daley not only has a gift for slapping his audience across the face to acquire their attention, he keeps you there in virtual hypnotic fascination.
The descriptions are so vivid especially describing the inner anatomy of the beast I found myself getting queasy in repulsion. He definitely has a knack for exploiting each of the senses in not only what the characters see, but hear, smell, feel and taste. One cannot help but adapt a virtual teleplay within their own head, cheering along the protagonist as the plot thickens. The action moves along at break neck pace as we get a glimpse into our tale from four separate perceptions, Dale, wife Candice, son Jake and a fourth I’ll refrain from mentioning here to alleviate any plot spoilers. Suffice to say it’s refreshing story telling. Many novice authors of today could most certainly take a page out of Daley’s playbook for gripping suspense and drama.
Although the sole premise of the novel is beyond absurd in terms of believability we find our collective pulses racing in spite of the far-fetched content. Let’s face it, we as a society are firmly submerged in a world gone mad. Countless circumstances transpire on a daily basis around the globe entirely beyond comprehension. So is it so unusual to invest the inner recesses of our minds towards a giant mutant zombie creature leaving a path of destruction with every step it takes? Perhaps and perhaps not; what I like about this author is his ability to hone in on each character’s emotions breathing a life of its own into the plot. The story may not be as believable as a drive by shooting or political scandal on the six o’clock news, but really who cares? The terror and angst illustrated permeating from the characters are enough reality for us to take and plunge further into the action. We continue to feel empathy for each of the characters as their own insecurities become a conflict to be reckoned with. These are very real, tangible traits for us to relate to and invest a further interest on where the story is going. Some of the inner monologues with the protagonists and even the antagonist are priceless and worthy of a second read.
Zombie Kong is a certifiable must read for fans of the genre and cynics alike.