Nathan Shumate has a wonderful imagination, and an interesting taste for the macabre in the artwork and writing he produces. I know Nathan well, having sat on panels with him and shared booth space with him at various Utah conventions. Never would I have thought of crossing Christmas with zombies, nor hoped to pull it off as cleverly as he has.
The Last Christmas Gift: A Heartwarming Holiday Tale of the Living Dead is about an eight-year-old boy who’s father has died in Vietnam and sent him a demented doll with peculiar instructions hidden inside it. When the boy’s grandfather dies of cancer just before Christmas, he decides to use the doll to bring the old man back to life…and accidentally raises the corpses in the graveyard across the street in the process.
This story delightfully blends the horror of an undead uprising with family bonding. It is less about the culture of Christmas holiday traditions and more of a zombie tale that happens to take place on Christmas Eve–something zombie-lovers would enjoy reading any time of the year. The characters are fleshed out–pardon the pun–and I found the relationship between the boy and his grandfather to be sympathetic and dynamic.
There was, of course, plenty of chaos and destruction. The gore was not over-the-top, allowing the relationships and character aspects to really shine through amid the action. The boy’s love for his Grandpap gave this creative story a strangely sweet conclusion.
I liked this book a lot. It’s different. It’s a quick read, quirky but serious, and I think readers who may not normally look for zombie stories due to excessive gore or violence would enjoy this story as well. It really is heartwarming. As heartwarming as a zombie uprising in the back yard on Christmas Eve can get.
You can find The Last Christmas Gift: A Heartwarming Holiday Tale of the Living Dead
On Amazon for Kindle: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012BYBKWE
In paperback: www.amazon.com/Last-Christmas-Gift-Heartwarming-Holiday/dp/069249670X
For more titles written and edited by Nathan Shumate, check out his website at Cold Fusion Media: coldfusionmedia.us.