First published between May of 2005 and October of 2005 by way of a free online serialised novel, US author David Wellington’s third and final instalment into his ‘Monster’ zombie apocalypse trilogy was entitled ‘Monster Planet’.  Following the release of this final book in the trilogy, all three books went on to be published in hardcopy for the first time in 2006.

DLS Synopsis:
It’s now a full twelve years since the undead virus brought the world to its knees, reducing the vast majority of humankind to flesh-hungry zombies.  Ayaan is now a ruthless but disciplined leader to the remainder of Mama Halima’s followers.  But across the scorching hot plains of Egypt, a vast army of both undead and living has been formed.  And the advancing army is coming Ayaan’s way.

Having witnessed the massive army firsthand, twenty-year-old Sarah and Ayaan’s second-in-command, Mariam, know that they have to act fast to warn Ayaan and her nomadic charge about the approach of this dominating force.  But when Mariam becomes the next victim to the advancing army, Ayaan decides to go on the offensive and attacks the marching hordes.  But these are not just your run-of-the-mill zombies that they are facing.  Under the rule of the Russian lich commander Tzarevich, the undead have been modified to become vicious fighting machines.  Unprepared for the strength of this new army, Ayaan quickly finds herself outnumbered, overwhelmed and captured.

Having lost their great leader, Sarah and the remaining survivors retreat, to lick their wounds and reassess their bleak predicament.  They know that they are facing a formidable army that can destroy them all with ease.  But the Tsarevich has plans far greater than mere warfare.  The Russian zombie-child leader has his sight on world domination.  However still lurking in the darkness is the ancient telepathic Celt, Mael Mag Och, who even now has his eyes set on bringing forth the end of the world.

Werewolves and mummies, war-modified zombies and powerful liches will all collide in an almighty battle that could mean the end of everything.  Across the desert plains of Egypt, to the plague ravaged wastelands of New York, this is where it will all come to an end, one way or the other.  They all have their own plans.  They all have a personal stake in how this will play out.  The war is about to come to a head, with the final cards waiting to be played.  And at the Source, those that are still standing will be left to see this to the end...

DLS Review:
For his third and final instalment, author David Wellington has pulled out all the stops in order to bring about one of the most exciting, energetic and epic zombie apocalypse / supernatural fantasy novels of late.  Literally every character, every event and every action is ramped up a gear or two.  Wellington throws in all he’s got, with an almost non-stop onslaught of dramatic battles and utterly ingenious plot twists.

Pleasingly, Wellington has stuck with the winning formula of the previous two instalments with splitting the novel off into another three separate storyline threads.  Likewise, the tale takes on a handful of similar basic themes that have found themselves explored in the earlier two instalments – such as a character’s inner struggle to find their true calling, losing sight of the side of good, and the constant struggle to find the right path to take.

The tale incorporates a multitude of new and exciting characters, each with a purposeful place in the development of the increasingly elaborate plot.  Indeed, so many characters are brought to the table that a real feel of uncertainty around who is fighting on the right side starts to develop.

However, like with a typical Stephen King novel, an underlying struggle of ‘good versus evil’ is at the very crux of the novel’s plot.  And it’s this pure and firmly-rooted basis that turns the final instalment into the all-out epic that it is.  Think Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ (1978) gone absolutely haywire.  Think (almost) out-of-control horror madness mixed in with some crazy-ass fantasy elements.  This final book is truly immense and utterly captivating from the very beginning.

A number of characters from early on in the trilogy make a final appearance in this last book.  Characters whose involvement and roles in the grand scheme of things hasn’t quite finished being played out yet.  And damn is it good to see the return of some of those original faces.  It all seems to come so tightly back together again for this last journey into the abyss.

The novel (and indeed the trilogy as a whole) ends perfectly.  Wellington knows how to take a story to an absolute peak and then sign it off in a spectacular and satisfying way.  It’s only three books, but by the time you get to the end of this last instalment, it feels like the absolute end of an era.  The end of something utterly dramatic that over just a short space of time has become part of your life.  The ‘Monster’ trilogy are books that will always encourage a second or third read.  And that they most certainly will get.

The novel (in its printed format) runs for a total of 415 pages. 

© DLS Reviews

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