Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook


America, if not the world, is obsessed with monsters. The reason why is a mystery, but there is no doubt that the two most popular are vampires and zombies. The “Twilight” book and movie series is huge for vampire fans, while AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is number one with zombie fans. Hundreds and books and movies have been written about these creatures, but here are two words you don’t usually see together – “zombie” and “Christian.”

Jeff Kinley’s new book, “The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook: Slaying the Living Dead Within,” bravely tackles the genre. It’s actually two books in one, half story and half teaching, told throughout every other chapter in the book.

Written with high-school and college students in mind, “Zombie Killers” is set in the near future where trouble with zombies is a way of life in large metro cities. A mysterious illness is turning innocent people into zombies who kill. Then the victims become zombies as well. Sort of a “circle of death.” Meanwhile, Ben Forman is a young professional starting out on his first job and living on his own. One night he discovers a dead body who was obviously a victim of a zombie attack and it really shakes him. With the help of his older brother, he learns how to defend himself, “just in case.” Soon, zombies begin appearing out of the woodwork. Staying alive becomes quite the challenge.

Author Jeff Kinley
There isn’t much of a spiritual angle with Ben’s story, but the “meat” of the book comes from the teaching chapters. Kinley explains that there is a little zombie in all of us, (even Christians), wanting to destroy us. He tackles topics of sin, grace, salvation and how to overcome life as a zombie. Just like a real zombie, Kinley is relentless in his explanations that we can’t defeat the zombies on our own, but that we need a Savior.

Those who only want to read a story about a zombie attack won’t be disappointed. Some chapters get fairly graphic, but not overly so. Still, the book is not recommended for younger readers. On the downside, some characters are not completely “fleshed out.” Ben is in love with his girlfriend, but doesn’t really explain why. Her character doesn’t do much in the story except pout. The abrupt ending was a disappointment for me as well. This might be a sign that a sequel is in the works, but that isn’t clear.



Jeff Kinley and Sean T. Page
Some teens only want to read a monster story may be disappointed that the book includes the teaching chapters. However, with this unique formatting, it just might make peak their interest. The book isn’t preachy, but heartfelt and full of truth. The book also includes a short discussion guide for group study.

“The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook,” published by Thomas Nelson, has also received the praise of Sean T. Page, author of “War Against the Walking Dead” and “The Official Zombie Handbook.” In his introduction in the book, Page says, “Jeff Kinley has found a way to communicate God’s grace to a new audience…[it] is culturally relevant, deeply perceptive and really inspires us to discover the truth for ourselves.”
(Originally posted on Examiner.com)

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