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Literature / Monster Nation

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Monster Nation (2005) is a serial novel by David Wellington. It is the prequel to Monster Island and concerns the opening days of a zombie apocalypse and the end of the world seen in the series. This novel is presented mainly in a Flashback manner.

Monster Nation provides the following tropes:

  • Alternate History: The newspaper clippings and journal entires at the beginning of each chapter takes place from March-April 2005.
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  • Apocalypse How: Class 2 Societal Collapse
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Stryker APC the U.S. Army and the Colorado Army National Guard use against hordes of zombies in Denver.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie
    • We only get to see Nilla being a human in a few chapters before she gets bitten and turns into a lich.
    • Dick falls down a ravine where he is arms are devoured by zombie sheep. He then becomes the iconic armless zombie in the next chapters.
  • Anyone Can Die: Most of the characters of the human characters die by the end of the book. Bannerman Clark and his friend Vikram is not spared.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How several zombies are destroyed by soldiers, marines, police officers, and armed civilians.
  • The Chosen One: It is later explained only Nilla can stop the apocalypse, though the weight of this falls heavily on her.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Scottish gods apparently cause the zombie apocalypse since they deem humanity not deserving to live anymore due to the actions of one Mad Scientist.
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  • Eldritch Abomination: What becomes of the paleontologist's wife after he hooked it to the Source to save her from cancer. She has been described as having organs and other features growing out of place. Indeed a mix of Body Horror and Eye Scream.
  • Elite Zombie: Nilla, chronologically the first lich in the trilogy. She has the power to teleport to different places.
  • Fancy Dinner: Bannerman Clark is introduced having a steak on an expensive restaurant right before he is called to duty over "riots" at ADX Florence.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Nilla shows examples of one. One, she is scared and confused as she becomes a lick and two, she manages to infected several unsuspecting victims in self-defense.
  • Hold the Line: A Pentagon official plans to fortify Washington, D.C. from the hordes of undead. Clark knows this will fail badly.
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  • Identity Amnesia: The yoga instructor forgets her name as she turns into the first lich, so she takes up the name Nilla after seeing a pack of Nilla Wafers. Her real name is revealed in the ending.
  • Implacable Man: In Present Day, no matter how many times Dekalb attempts to kill Gary, the bodyless lich always regenerates even when reduced to a skull with rotating eyes.
  • Just Before the End: Takes place before civilization completely collapsed.
  • Killed Offscreen: Bannerman Clark is stuck to a piece of metal from the helicopter crash while a zombie Vikram approaches him. He is last known to be desperately trying to reach his knife to defend himself. His death is confirmed in Monster Planet.
  • Mad Scientist: The paleontologist in Colorado. He basically fucked around with Life Force itself in order to save his wife from cancer and brought the zombie apocalypse upon the world.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nilla bites one of the Las Vegas civilian patrols, thus causing the city to be eventually overrun with the undead.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: A subtle reference to George W. Bush and the Iraq War is made by a police officer in the beginning chapters, stating "we were better off to have a Republican in the White House that dragged us into Iraq."
  • Prison: ADX Florence.
  • PrisonRiot: Why Bannerman Clark initially thought was going on in the ADX Florence maximum security prison.
  • RaisingTheSteaks:
    • Zombie sheep make their debut appearance, where they chew off one of Dick's arms.
    • Nilla zombifies a bear as it attempts to attack her.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: The only way to kill zombies as per pop-culture genre rule.
  • The Reveal:
    • The zombie apocalypse is caused by a scientist who attempted to cure his wife of a cancer. He somehow managed to open a portal to the life force itself (known as "The Source") to support his wife but it turned her to an Eldritch Abomination. Mael Mag Och, the bogman demigod, is then tasked by other gods to destroy humanity after one Mad Scientist fucks with the Source for selfish purposes. This confirms the outbreak was indeed supernatural in origin.
    • Mael reveals to Nilla her real name is Julie.
  • Scenery Porn: How Nilla describes the mountains of Colorado.
  • Semper Fi: U.S. Marines from Twentynine Palms are said to be taking part in the battle against zombies in California.
  • Weapon of Choice: Bannerman Clark and Vikram both use the U.S. military's M9 pistol.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: 90% of the story is narrated in Present Day by Gary Fleck's reanimated head to Dekalb who has become a lich from the preceding novel.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The beginning stages of one.
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