Verdict: Replete with twists, turns, and plenty of gore, MONSTERLAND is a captivating page-turner.
The owner of Monsterland invites teens to opening day with a dare: “Let’s see if Monsterland can scare the daylights out of you.”
Eighteen-year-old Wyatt Baldwin is certain that mogul Vincent Conrad has the perfect solution to the plague that has infected pockets of the world population. Instead of isolating zombies, werewolves, and vampires within containment camps, Vincent has convinced governmental authorities to have them transferred into his eight global theme parks, including one located right in Wyatt’s hometown of Copper Valley, California. Simply named Monsterland, these parks are intended to provide the altered beings with equal employment opportunities. But when Wyatt (along with his friends) attends opening day, he is in for a one big horrifying surprise when he learns the truth behind this main attraction.
Award-winning author Cash adds a new twist to a common monster theme. The concept of strange viruses infecting people and then turning them into zombies is often overplayed, both on screen and in popular literature. That said, one might quickly assume the title of Cash’s twelfth novel will follow suit. Quite the contrary! Combining the undead (vampires and zombies) with therianthropes (werewolves) while sprinkling in positive aspects of monsters (i.e., from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series), Cash throws readers off a bit with the idea that good can possibly come out of beings so hideous.
Undoubtedly, there is a hideous side to his fast-paced plot. But Cash includes a flurry of red herrings before the real monsters rise to the surface. Crafting a well-defined and highly colorful cast, Cash surrounds Wyatt–his lead role–with a balance of supporting and foiled characters. Cash takes all the above-mentioned literary elements and tightly incorporates them within chapters that constantly alternate between unexpected character scenes—thus, keeping his storyline fluid from beginning to end. After that is all said and done, Cash closes on a bit of a cliffhanger. Per chance, there is a sequel in the works.
Replete with twists, turns, and plenty of gore, MONSTERLAND is a captivating page-turner.