Upon discovering that monster zombies are suddenly populating their school, a young boy named Johnny and his best friend, Alex, have an incredibly eventful day and in the process of getting to the bottom of the case, must try to make it out alive.
This 99-page-book is a fast-paced, action-adventure story that will be a quick read for younger audiences looking for a scary read in an imaginative setting. Perfect for adolescents as well as children who are learning to read, the language of this book manages to be both exciting and easy to understand. However, there are some situations that may be too intense for younger readers, for example, the scenes depicting the horrifying zombie monsters and describing their actions towards the humans they capture – and may be more suitable for the readers who actively enjoy and devour horror stories.
This book maintains high stakes and suspenseful tension throughout the plot, keeping the action moving for the two protagonists on the run, but the characters are not very thoroughly developed, traits-wise, beyond their appearances. Johnny seems like he has the makings of a hero – especially when he assures Alex and does what he can to try to save him during their frightening encounters – but the choices he makes in ultimately facing off against the zombie monsters at the climactic showdown seem more random than deeply rooted in character. In stories like these, character should save the day – and it seems more like Johnny’s tendencies and backstory – utilizing what he’s learned from his father with camping and baseball – crop up, surprisingly, at the right point and time, instead of being developed along the way.
There are humorously creative descriptions of what the different characters – from sixty-four-year-old bus driver Ms. Eisenstein, with her “tiny whiskers poking out of her wrinkly skin” to the man on the roof whose hair is so frazzled he’s lost “the comb-over it once had” – look like. However, their personalities are not as fleshed out either – and the twist at the end, revealing just who is leading the monster zombies, also seems far too unexpected and sudden.
MONSTER ZOMBIES ARE COMING FOR JOHNNY provides a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase in a concise format, with delightfully comedic elements woven into an entertaining adventure.