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The Ghoul Archipelago
By Stephen Kozeniewski
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
I don't actually have a lot to say about Stephen Kozeniewski's The Ghoul Archipelago, because it's based on a pretty simple premise that's easy to get across quickly -- it's another of those large epic genre thrillers that looks at how an entire section of the planet is affected by an apocalyptic event (in this case zombies in the Philippines), told through a half-dozen individual sets of characters and situations that slowly come more and more together as the book moves along, which has practically become a sub-genre unto itself in recent years because of the massive popularity of the one that started them all, Max Brooks' still phenomenal World War Z. So as such, what you think of Kozeniewski's take on it will depend entirely on what you think of people continuing to write in this genre to begin with; for while it's certainly well done, make no mistake, there's nothing really in The Ghoul Archipelago that you can't get by reading World War Z instead, which means you should only read the former if you're already a fan of this genre and don't mind books that essentially say the same thing all over again. That's not necessarily a pan of this competent and well-written novel -- after all, the very bread and butter of most genre fans is essentially the act of reading the same general story over and over again, which is the whole point it's called "genre literature" to begin with -- just that you shouldn't pick up The Ghoul Archipelago thinking you're going to get anything particularly groundbreaking, and especially if you're like me and don't particularly care for zombies as a genre trope to begin with. It should all be kept in mind when deciding whether to pick up a copy yourself or not.
Out of 10: 8.2