Welcome to Monsterland, the scariest place on earth.
When world markets are decimated by a crippling plague, philanthropist, and billionaire businessman, Vincent Konrad decides to place monsters in a theme park setting to promote education and tolerance. Copper Valley is chosen as the primary site for the park in the United States.
Wyatt Baldwin, a high school senior is dying to go to the opening and when he lands special passes to the park, he and his friends are expecting the experience of a lifetime.
After all, in a theme park where real zombies, werewolves, and vampires are the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?
Monsterland by Michael Okon is an interesting take on the whole monster genre. It is unique but lighthearted while having a dark side at the same time. It gives us the monsters we crave, but yet in a zoo-like environment. It’s like Disney but for monsters, which after living in central Florida for over 10 years, I’d happily take.
Wyatt sounds like a normal teenager and is easy to relate to. He’s got an interesting home life, and in some ways is your stereotypical “different” kid. He brother is kind of a dick, but what can you do? I like how hard his stepdad is trying to be a part of his life even though he resists as much as possible.
Okon does a remarkable job of making the story come to life in Monsterland. From his description of the Monsterland logo, which I would really like to see in real life, to the descriptions of the different “lands” of Monsterland, I felt I could see the story in it’s entirety.
The living condition of each species of “monsters” is both interesting and heartbreaking at the same time. The impression is given the monsters are happy and content where they are, but once the story gets going, it does make you wonder if that is truly the case. Monsterland is much like a zoo. The animals appear happy, but is that actually the case? What would happen if they could communicate with one another to escape? The monsters are seen as completely inhuman, as though there is no chance for redemption among them.
I have random notes within my kindle of different thoughts I had while reading. One especially made me laugh. The idea the werewolves are located in the Everglades had me cracking up. While I was reading this, my husband was planning his biannual fishing trip to the Everglades. Since he’s more into werewolves and I’m more into vampires, I thought it was funny how much he enjoys going down there. Another note I have is referencing the correlation between the music industry and vampires. I honestly have no idea what that was about but my note says “ask about music industry connection” when they are talking about Melvin’s mother lol.
I do have to say I was disappointed in the Vampires intelligence. They seem fairly dumb and single minded. I wish they had been smarter, but that’s life. Or unlife. Or whatever.
Overall, this is a pretty good book. I enjoyed reading it, as well as the different perspective it offered. It’s not often you come across a monster book with any truly unique properties, but Monsterland definitely offers a take on things much different than other’s I’ve read. I recommend it to anyone looking for a paranormal/horror-ish type of book that’s an easy and fun read.