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Monster Planet completes David Wellington's zombie trilogy. A trilogy that became more and more supernatural as it went on and in this book we are treated to a story that steps away from the traditional zombie tale far more than the previous efforts. Monster Island and Monster Nation could only hint at the extent that magic would end up playing in this culmination of this saga.
The story takes place twelve years after the zombie plague began and most humans have been wiped out. We are reintroduced to some familiar characters and several new ones. Where the the first two stories were devoted to single liches (zombies who remain intelligent and have special powers) plus an ancient druid and mummies, in this story it starts to become clear that Nilla and Gary were not alone in their state of undead power. The Tsarevich is the most powerful lich of all, able to control massive armies of the undead. He not only controls them but has created other liches as well, Generals in his new army. He too, like the Gary and Nilla, has a love/hate relationship with Mael Mag Och, the ancient druidic ghost whose has been called upon by his ancient god to destroy the world. He has his own agenda and much like the other two that have come before he has a strong tendency to frustrate Mael to no end.
David Wellington has crafted a very involved and detailed mythology in this trilogy. His characters in this book, particularly Sarah and Ayaan, are rich and vibrant and are brought to life with a story that is complex and full of unique takes on the zombie genre.
Certainly, if you are reading this book I will have to presume that you have read his two previous novels and enjoyed them enough to complete the trilogy. If that is the case then you are probably someone who can step away from the traditional Romero works, even if you (like me) love those stories just as much. David has added several new layers on top of the standard stuff here, which allows the story to take off in totally new directions.
If I am to find fault in this book, it is the same fault I have found in the other two novels of the trilogy--some of the elements the author is asking me as the reader to suspend disbelief over are a little bit hard to swallow. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say, this realm is rather fantastical. I would dare say that the Monster series, especially this book, weaves a narrow path between horror and fantasy storytelling. Some elements do work and make good sense (such as human cultists who worship the liches and look forward to death so they can better serve them) while others are pretty over the top (some of the varied lich abilities are a pretty big stretch).
I guess the key thing to recognize is that despite the tagline on each book being "A zombie novel" the title of each includes the word 'monster'. The monsters in these novels are a bit more diverse than just zombies, as characters such as Erasmus, The Least, and Amanita clearly point out. Magic permeats everything and not only the dead have it, but the living as well.
Overall, I have to give the series the same amount of stars that I gave this book. I liked each one of the books primarily because David Wellington knows how to create interesting and compelling characters that are vivid and fun to read about but at the same time he takes risks, stretching the stories in ways that sometimes works and other times does not, at least for me. I will have to admit that he does pull it all together nicely in the end though, as fantastically wild as this saga became in this third and final act.
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on September 26, 2008
I got the whole trilogy and read them in order thankfully.
Monster Nation was my favorite of the 3 and developed a few interesting characters and Monster Planet wrapped them up somewhat.

The writing style seemed a bit complex compared to other "undead" based books I have read.
The trilogy one was more in depth and had a supernatural flavor to it. I was looking for a brain-smashing mindless zombie book but this one gave me a different experience. I feel indifferent as it did not satisfy my mindless need for human on zombie violence.

I would definitely read all 3 of the books to get full satisfaction but do not expect a definitive ending! It left me hanging and somewhat unsatisfied.

If you want brain-bashing go elsewhere but if you want interesting characters and a departure from the norm this is a good book/trilogy.
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on July 5, 2007
I love zombies. Now that that has been said, Monster Planet is a zombie story. Not quite a zombie story like you would expect with people holing up in a some-what safe place from zombies, as they smash the barricades down. But monster Planet is a story with a lot about what would happen to most of the world with a wide extent zombie takeover. The first book in this series, Monster Island, used to be my favorite book I have read, now this book is. While monster island has a lot more to do with zombies than this book does, this book is more like the story of a couple of the survivors and the liches, and the zombies themselves are thrown in almost as an afterthought. Yes as stated in the other review, this book does have a lot of fantastical elements and even includes magic. But those elements do not take away from a rich story, besides zombies are a fantastical creature any way, as far as the flesh eating un-living varient go.

In all I wouldn't really call this "A Zombie Novel", but more of "A Novel with some Zombies." Monster Planet is still an excellent book, and if you have read and enjoyed the first two of the trilogy, you will enjoy this book. If you haven't read either of the other two books, I must suggest you try those first, because many of the characters and concepts behind this story rely on the first two. In all 5 stars for the story and the some-what original ideas.
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on December 12, 2010
Wellington's trilogy is definitely highly imaginative. However, this last entry strays too far into fantasy for my liking as I am more of a zombie purist. Having said that, one must give the author credit for taking the genre outside of its comfort zone and spinning a very wild yarn. Be warned, some of it is head scratching and it does go on too long. To be frank - do not feel you have to finish the trilogy - I would have preferred stopping after Monster Nation.
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VINE VOICEon December 8, 2010
Another solid entry for David Wellington! Although at this point, he really should have dropped the secondary title of zombie novel. This is clearly a monster novel. The zombies are now an afterthought. This story follows Ayaan, the woman warrior from Somalia who first appeared in Monster Island, and Dekalb's daughter Sarah. The story follows the two as Ayaan, captured by Russian Super Lich named the Tsarevich and his undead army and Sarah on a rescue mission to save her. The story starts out in Africa and soon moves across the world back to America in search of the source of the undead. This book picks up 10 years after the events in Monster Island and a lot has changed. Humanity is all but wiped out, what is left either is barley surviving or worshiping the undead like a cult. This story really dives into the supernatural; both the living and the dead alike are seeped in magic. (Tree wizard guy) The Tsarevich even has a cast of Metal Gear Solid like superfreak undead generals each having unique abilities, powers and body types. One is a mold creature, one is werewolf like, one controls the undead remotely, and so on. These are like the zombie X-Men. There are mummies with rocket launchers, zombie road warriors and all kind of mayhem. This book does a good job of tying up most of the loose ends (Nilla, Dekalb, Clark, Mael Mag Och and Gary) and has what I thought a satisfying ending. (With leaving room for a fourth book) All in all, much more black magic monsters than zombies. This is a story that would make a great video game, lots of gore, lots of violence and is kind of a mash of Harry Potter, Mad Max and Army of Darkness. I recommend this book to fans of the Monster series, David Wellington or horror fans in general.
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on May 8, 2008
but this book threw me for a loop. This book is a classic example of far too many characters that are never fully fleshed out. I could never tell if the bad guys were really bad or kind of bad or maybe just pretending to be bad but are really good. That's a problem. I don't need everything spelled out for me because I've read many a book, but this is too convoluted. My other major qualm with this book is that I didn't even feel a connection to the protagonists. It's disappointing to me that I could've cared less what happened to them. That's the sign of a disjointed book to me.
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on October 18, 2009
By far the worst out of the 3 books in the series. Don't waste your money!!! The plot was rubbish -thinking / mind controlling zombies sailing the earth to eradicate the rest of the living, c'mon! Characters were laughable. In my opinion, not a true zombie apocalyptic novel.
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on June 18, 2010
Remember how the 1st book in this series was all about zombies and survival and being interesting?
yeah... that seems to have died somewhere along the pages of book 2.

What you get here is a giant mess of random things that don't make sense. Undead with working brains have superpowers! (we're talking comicbook villain superpowers) Characters established in previous books come back, minus their personalities! Some girl learns "magic" out of thin air. Black Magic thrown about for 2 pages only to be completely forgotten and ignored later

and the ending.. WHAT ENDING?? The book just ends
No proper resolve, no real tied up ends. Its like the writer just gave up and walked away leaving couple blank pages to finish some other time

PS: get thee to an editor! There were continuity & spelling errors all over the place
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on January 25, 2010
I really enjoyed reading the first 2 books and was looking forward to this book. However, I just couldn't get into it. I can't really explain it. Maybe it's that the plot/story was just a bit over-the-edge for a zombie novel (can you really say that though?)? It just didn't have that hook for me. And the mummified zombies shooting guns/rocket launchers?! I guess I can see the appeal in that.....maybe.

I enjoyed David's 4 part vampire series much better. The characters were more developed, the plot more interesting and the endings more satisfying.

If you're a completist, you'll need to read this book. I was just disappointed and almost gave up on it.
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on July 22, 2010
I read all of these novels when they were free online - a serialized blog of sorts... and fell in love. When they were published I had to have them... I've also given the trilogy as gifts to friends and family.

I love Wellington's twist on the typical zombie genre. His other novels do the same for other classic horror icons - vampires and werewolves. I have loved everything I've read of Wellingtons.

I highly recommend any of his books to horror lovers.
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