“Superheroes Aliens Robots Zombies” by Mark Boss

Junk Food for Zombie Lovers

SARZ-51kVl+YZFoL This book is like mind candy for the science fiction apocalypse lover. Zombies – quick, coordinated, and flesh-eating – mixed with aliens – small, big-eyed and green – and robots for a wild, active romp thru cliché and disaster-tales.

If only the violence weren’t so medically accurate…and if only the author had learned that “series” is not code for “serial”.

The biggest obstacle to broad enjoyment of this book might be the gore. The story opens with government agent Kyle Kane, and it isn’t long before he’s up to his ears in human (zombie) corpses and spent cartridges. His storyline follows his efforts to get out of town alive – and help his understaffed, under-budgeted agency figure out what’s going on.

Several other protagonists alternate chapters with Kyle. The most interesting one is Russell, a borderline-incontinent computer technician who becomes the robot revolutionary’s sidekick. While he spends much of the book being dragged around by his new boss and suffering misfortune (and while he’s technically a bad guy), he is compelling – and his motive is to find a cure for his congenitally crippled little brother. ‘NOUGH SAID. If you know me at all, you know this is my Achilles heel. You’ve triggered my trigger, now what’s going to happen?!

My favorite character is Protor, a mad scientist’s robot who stubbles onto an Antarctic research station while trying to discover what his radical robot friend is up to…an Antarctic research station that has recently been visited by extra-terrestrials…

The author’s research is impressive, especially his understanding of the third world. My dad grew up as a missionary kid in central Africa, and continues to work there with Bible translation, so I’m more sensitive to Westerner gaffs about that part of the world. While it’s not clear if Mr. Boss has ever been there himself, he’s done enough research to bring an authentic flavor to his African settings.

The book is also great for interrupted reading sessions. Quick-reading chapters switch clearly between the different leads, and the action and narrative have a good forward momentum, allowing you to get back into the flow after each reading break.

Perhaps I should mention that although the title says “Superheroes,” all we see in this volume is rather un-distinctive vigilante.

This sort of leads into my biggest complaint about Superheroes Aliens Robots Zombies. If Kristen Lamb’s said it once, she’s said it a thousand times: using the climax of Book One as the hook for Book Two is cheating.

I’ve talked about this before on the blog. And I get that there are exceptions, but unless your names starts with J. and ends with Tolkien, you’re playing dirty to chop off your book at the midpoint (and even the master didn’t leave us with our heroes surrounded by zombies and then say, “Bye, see you next week!”).

Once again: it’s okay to have an overarching plot that runs through your series – but you have to tie off some loose ends in each individual book or you are cheating!

If anyone was going to coax me into shelling out money for the next installment, it might’ve been Mark Boss. I can skim over occasional flying body parts (and trash-talking robots) when the junk food is this crunchably munchable, but…cheating is just cheating.

Be nice to a naïve Amazon-surfer and – if your book is actually the first act of a serial, not the first complete adventure in a series – please stamp SERIAL somewhere conspicuous on the page, and I won’t waltz into your world with unrealistic expectations.

Superheroes Aliens Robots Zombies can be found on Amazon (here). As the description page says, “SUPERHEROES ALIENS ROBOTS ZOMBIES is the first in the SARZverse trilogy. Read Book 2: ROBOT REVOLUTION and Book 3: ALIEN INVASION for the complete saga.” Should’ve realized what that meant, I guess.

The author’s website is MarkBoss.net.

Disclaimer: I downloaded the free ebook on Amazon for free. You can also get it by signing up for his mailing list, if you like. I was not required to write a review of any kind.

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