His focus fell on the trailer’s opening, on three of the undead rocking from side-to-side. Only their heads and shoulders were visible. Grabbing the golf club he found earlier along the side of the trailer, he rose with one intention: play golf.
– Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Flacco
Ranger Martin doesn’t just kill zombies. He kills them with a flair for comedy, and he thoroughly enjoys his adventures. With amazing good humour for someone living in the midst of an apocalypse, Ranger Martin somewhat resembles Indiana Jones in his inventive ways of getting out of tight spots. His only companion is a teenager whom he nicknames Wildside. But as the story opens, Ranger stumbles upon two more youngsters, a ten-year-old kid named Jon and his teenage sister Matty.
When Jon marvels at his “Batcave” dwelling, this slayer of the undead says that he prefers Spiderman to Batman, and it’s easy to see why. Unlike the grim caped crusader, Ranger Martin is a warm, humorous person who doesn’t suffer from troubling psychological issues. Altogether, he’s a pretty cool dude.
Ranger is up against some big challenges, the biggest of which is getting the teenagers in his charge to get along. Indeed, the most interesting thing for me was seeing how the characters’ personal issues from before the apocalypse haunted them, and how they worked on resolving their differences between bouts of fighting undead creatures. As the characters’ back story is revealed, the zombie attacks pale in comparison to the suffering caused by “normal” society.
As they try to solve the riddle of the zombies’ origin and go on a quest to destroy the zombies for good, Ranger and his crew face quite a few undead opponents. Jack Flacco excels at bringing the zombie-fighting action to life with his own brand of dynamic comic-book flavored violence. Speaking of flavor, he also injects much humour by describing gooey zombie brains as food items, everything from avocado to mint jelly, as in “Ranger then crashed his boot into its skull, spraying mint jelly everywhere.”
It’s a harsh and dangerous world, but Jack Flacco illuminates it with his heroes’ quirky personalities and camaraderie. The perfect mix of human drama and zombie thrills, Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse is a very lively (haha) tale of the undead.
Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse is due to be released on October 22, 2013.
To find out more about Jack Flacco, check out his highly entertaining site http://jackflacco.com/.