Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zombiestan by Mainak Dhar

Zombiestan by Mainak Dhar

ISBN: 978-93-81626-92-4
Pages: 248
Price: Rs 199
Publisher: Duckbill books
Genre: Fiction

About the author: 
Mainak Dhar has eleven books to his credit including the bestseller, Alice in Deadland. Learn more about him and contact him at and tweet him: @mainakdhar 

Found this little quote which touched me, on his blog as I was doing a little stalker-ing as I do when I read a book. 

So if you're one of the YA readers who happens to pick up Zombiestan, never underestimate where a bit of inspiration can take you. Never underestimate how powerful books and words can be in shaping what you become. 

Blurb excerpt: 

It began with undead Taliban in Afghan villages and faster than anyone could have anticipated, the darkness spread through the world. 

.....When they discover that the child may hold the key to ending the pestilence that threatens to destroy their world they begin an epic journey to a rumoured safe zone high in the Himalayas. 

The verdict:
Set in Afghanistan, the central plot of the story is based on the terrorists and attacks in the locality. However, there is a slight overly imaginative twist to the plot. That is what, for me added spice to the book. While a traditional author would have gone the plain old way to convey a message about terrorism, trust Mainak Dhar to add supernatural elements and weave an entirely imaginative plot to make your head woozy with curiousity. 

As if terrorists weren't horrifying enough a concept to spread terror in the society, terrorists bite other people to spread the evil and soon this becomes sort of like an epidemic and everyone is zombiefied. Using chemicals and bites to spread their cult, they soon reach India where they continue their bite-spree with more than imagined people to bite. 

'Dude, what do you want to play-Medal of Honour or Dead Rising?' 

Along with a supernatural element, the author adds a touch of family bonding, friendships and love; however is very poignant not to let it take over the entire story line in itself. A group of strangers: a US Navy SEAL, a three-year-old boy, two teenagers and an elderly history professor find themselves stuck with each other and eventually united in one cause against the zombie terrorists. I personally enjoyed the bond and the interaction between these characters which definitely added a human touch to the supernatural element in the entire story. Not to forget the important role that the little child plays in the entire novel. 

Terrorism and Zombiesm are actually two concepts that seemingly meet at a similar note if you look at it from the author's perspective, and he has indeed done a fabulous job of combining the two to produce this innovative concept of Zombie terrorists. Also notable is the display of human emotions are reactions when presented with life-threatening situations such as these. Not to forget the blood and gory details that you tend to picture in your head if you are a image-in-your-head-when-you-read sort of a person like I am. 

'Welcome to Zilmil Restaurant. We offer five-star food at one-star prices' 

Coming to the style of writing and the author's thought process, I think it is safe to say that the language is pretty simple and easy to understand; nothing too complicated or over the top. If you are thinking 'this' is going to happen, the author completely does the opposite, that is another plus point of the story. Mainak Dhar's thought process is completely unique and unlike ours. Relating terrorists to zombies and bringing out a social message and story of utmost reality through supernatural isn't something everyone can do and that is what connects to you at the end of the book. 

While the novel was particularly targeted at YA audience, I think anyone who is a fan of Zombies, supernatural, and twists to normal thoughts will be a fan of this novel. So if you are, you should go ahead and grab it! Makes for a fun light read with some hidden messages.

You can buy this: 
HomeShop18 (Rs 199 Rs 133) 
Amazon (different edition and publisher) ($9.99) 

Update: HERE
Mainak Dhar replied to a tweet on twitter: Glad you enjoyed Zombiestan..and love that you picked up the quote on Zilmil restaurant... Little touches like that make writing fun


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books! Thank you Nirav Sanghvi and the folks at Blogadda for this! :)

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