Review: Night of the Living Dead Christian

Tyndale gave me the chance to participate in the blog tour for Matt Mikalatos‘ new book Night of the Living Dead Christian. They sent me a free review copy, as well as the chance to give away a copy to one of my readers. All you need to do to enter the contest is leave a comment. It’s possible too that the author himself may stop by to interact a bit, so if you’ve read this book or Imaginary Jesus, you may be able to ask him some questions about those books.

Now, about the book. Night of the Living Dead Christians is an ordinary story about monsters and monster killers roaming a neighborhood. It’s a light-hearted book that seeks to make some not-so-light-hearted points about transformation and the meaning of discipleship. Along the way, it also seeks to make Christians look at how we deal with those who are struggling with sin in their lives.

I like the concept, love the message and enjoyed reading the book. But I have to confess that all the way along, I had the feeling that I didn’t get the joke. I kept wondering if there was something more than what I was seeing.

In some ways, the story felt like a parable, where you aren’t really supposed to interpret each individual element, merely capture the main points along the way. Yet other parts of the story seemed allegorical, which made me wonder if I was supposed to be seeing something more in some of the descriptions.

For example, the central character in the book (besides the narrator) is a werewolf. Another character is a vampire. These seem to be just unnamed character issues that they are dealing with. Or was I supposed to realize that “werewolf” means ____? I wouldn’t have thought so, but there were two things that made me doubt. First, the werewolf’s wife had left him because he had struck her. OK, so something about being a werewolf made him violent. Does “werewolf” mean uncontrolled temper? Or am I looking for meanings that aren’t supposed to be there? Secondly, there are zombies in the book, and we are led to see exactly what that means. So if we know what it is to be a zombie, are we supposed to know what it is to be a werewolf and what it is to be a vampire?

There were lots of things like that in the book that left me with the nagging feeling that I just wasn’t getting it. Other things didn’t seem clear to me. In the initial scene, a mad scientist uses a device that seems to attract monsters. Or does it reveal them? Or does it do anything at all? The narrator had already seen the werewolf, so his coming seems unrelated to the machine. And does that machine represent something?


As I said, it was a fun book to read, and I loved the message. I’m just not sure if I caught it all.

I’m looking forward to others reading this book and clueing me in. Whoever wins the book today will be obligated to give me their view. To have your chance, just leave a comment of any sort in the comment section. And spread the word… maybe your Christmas gift to someone can be helping them win a free book!

Here’s a video from the author about his book:

[And yes, dear FCC friends, Tyndale did provide me with free books for this review and giveaway,
and the links to Amazon do generate referral fees]

10 thoughts on “Review: Night of the Living Dead Christian

  1. Robert Floyd

    It will be interesting to see if the metaphors are as in your face as Imaginary Jesus, which was a good read. Given that the last book dealt with transforming how one deals with past tragedies and problems, I’m looking forward to seeing how the transformation theme continues.

    Any chance the giveaway can be an ebook version?

  2. Jay

    I never got into the vampire-werewolf genre, but it is obviously very big.
    On one hand it seems good to be using an avenue that is big and popular, but it might be difficult to avoid turning the means into the message. Sounds like it could be a fun read, but probably won’t make it like Pilgrims Progress.

  3. Matt Mikalatos

    Hey everybody!

    Tim, thanks for the great review. I’m sure it will all make sense after ten to fifteen readings and the new multi-part reader’s guide I’ll put out one day. :)

    I’m guessing you mostly got it, from looking at the things you wrote here. Calling it “allegory” might be a bit of a stretch. Think of it as farce and see if that makes it better.

    Also, Jay… it ain’t no Pilgrim’s Progress, that’s for sure. Although I did name the vampire Sir Selfishness, and the werewolf is called Anger.

    Just kidding.

  4. Tim Archer Post author


    Thanks for stopping by. I’ll confess that the deadline of this blog tour kept me from being able to read the book in the leisurely fashion I would have liked. I probably would have caught things a little better.

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

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