I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook

Zombies are real…and living among us!

Just in time for Halloween, Jeff Kinley’s The Christian Zombie Killers Handbook: Slaying the Living Dead Within is a unique book—broken into “Episodes” (fiction) and “Chapters” (nonfiction).  Certain to impact a target audience, the book provides a novel approach to sharing the Gospel by exposing our inner zombie: our sinful nature.

The Episodes tell the story of  Ben Forman and his family, present-day folks whose lives are a lot like ours—job stress, relationship trouble—but with a twist: they’re in constant danger of zombie attack.

The government has set up a special task force to handle zombie containment and research, and local police do all they can to protect citizens. It’s not enough, however, and no one is safe from the undead.

The Episodes at first read like an episode of CSI, so readers should be warned. Blood, brains, and rotten flesh pervade every chapter.  The characters can’t escape zombies, no matter where they go—a fancy restaurant, a store, or a tool shed.

It’s a wonder they ever go outside, and when Ben and his girlfriend choose to enter a pitch-black, half-dug tunnel with no escape route, I knew exactly what was coming. And I didn’t buy it. It reminded me of a gratuitous scene in horror movie, where hapless victims ignore danger for no reason other than to be in a place where the murderer can kill them.

Although I was distracted by the head-hopping and shifts between present and past tense, the episodes always ended on a hook and made me want to read further. The spiritual content is realistic, as the characters are not religious but slowly begin to question and wonder about the “Old Way.” Dan Forman, Ben’s brother, speaks a pivotal line:

“There seems to be something deep down inside us telling us mankind was meant for something better. That this zombie thing wasn’t in the original blueprint, you know?”

The Chapters express the Gospel in a fresh way, comparing our sinful nature to an inner zombie. From Genesis to the Apocalypse, Kinley traces human nature and God’s love and power, urging readers to think about our struggle against sin in a new way. I do not agree with Kinley on each theological point, but I appreciate his bottom line: only by putting our faith and lives into the Savior’s hands can we survive the zombies within.

Due to gore, I don’t think this book is suitable for some readers. There’s definitely a target audience for this book, as evidenced by a youth weekend featuring Kinley as the main speaker, and an Indie “soundtrack” which pays tribute to the book.

But if you’re a fan of things that go bump in the night, or you’re searching for a way to deepen your understanding of our salvation history, it might be worth looking into this book.

I received this book from the publisher for purposes of review. A positive review was not requested or promised.


Niki Turner said...

LOL. My oldest son and his pal are very into the whole zombie apocalypse idea right now. Maybe I'll get this book for them! : )
Thanks, Susie!

Susanne Dietze said...

Niki, I think your son might enjoy this! Zombies are everywhere. And you know me, I loved Pride & Prejudice and Zombies. Loved it.

It's advertised as being "culturally relevant." If by that they mean it's on the zombie supernatural train, it sure is.

Thanks for popping by!

Karen Lange said...

I just saw this somewhere and wondered about it. Thanks for the info!

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Karen! The title is certainly intriguing, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by.

Suzie Johnson said...

Susie! I saw this book the other day and I was going to tell you about it. I knew you'd like it. ;)

Susanne Dietze said...

Hey Suzie! Where'd you see it? The fiction-part is total Halloween-worthy reading. Creepy!

Do you get a lot of Trick or Treaters at your house?