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Book review: Zombiestan by Mainak Dhar
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Book review: Zombiestan by Mainak Dhar

Zombiestan“Mullah Omar sat down for what would be the last meal of his life…” and thus begins Mainak Dhar’s Zombiestan. What else would you expect when yellow-skinned, ghoul looking zombies with puss and blood running down their faces stare out at you from the book cover. Being a fan of romantic and mystery genres only, I was a bit reluctant to read a book of vengeful zombies and helpless humans. But for the sake of writing this review I started reading it. Much to my surprise I was roped in from the first chapter itself, where Dhar goes on describe the killing of Taliban leaders. Yes! Osama is dead and the US Navy Seals have yet again attacked the terrorists. That is how it all begins and the Zombiestan takes birth.

People overnight have turned into zombies, or the ‘biters’ as they are being called, who seem to know only one thing – to kill humans and make them one of their own. Roads are stranded, people have fled from homes and crammed into small shops, finding every possible way of surviving. What begin as aimless killers who slaughter humans like barbarians, evolve into well-coordinated Taliban terrorists who have learned to plan, read and write. This is when fate throws together five complete strangers to embark on a journey that calls for much more than just the “spirit of adventure”. Mayukh, a 17 year old boy, Swati and her 3-year-old brother, Abhi, Hima, an old history professor but with the guts of a soldier and David Bremsak, an US Navy Seal and thus, the only individual amongst them who is likely to stand a possibility of surviving. When they discover that Abhi might be the only chance of theirs, and for that matter the world’s survival, they go on board a journey to Ladakh with a hope of finding help there.  They face challenges where they have put aside their fears and weaknesses and fight for each other. They get into deadly wars with the biters who are now after Abhi and even the human survivors who feel handing over Abhi to them would make peace. Can this odd group of survivors, an US commando, a boy who is shaken from the loss of his family, an old professor and novelist, a young girl and a three-year old make it?

 

As the saga unfolds, somewhere the readers form a connection with the characters and as their heart races when attacked by biters, so does yours and when they crumble with pain on seeing another human die in front of them you also feel the helplessness. Even the naiveté and simplicity of the 3-year-old, Abhi in tough situations is sure to put smile on your faces. It brings forward the essence of the small joys in life that in normalcy we tend to overlook whether it be playing video games, having pizza every other weekend or just a kiss of goodnight from your mom. Mainak Dhar’s Zombiestan makes up for an action-packed, thrilling novel with even a bit of peripheral romance for some romanticists. It is a good read although the introductions can feel quite long but it surely is gripping.

0 02 January, 2013 Books January 2, 2013

About the author

Sonal is currently doing her 11th standard schooling and started writing here two years back at the age of 15, becoming the youngest writer at our brew station.

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