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Godzilla 2000
Marc Cerasini
Random House, 324 pages

Godzilla 2000
Marc Cerasini
Marc Cerasini's first book was a literary study of Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan. He worked for filmmaker George Romero, appearing in the horror classic, Dawn of the Dead, as a zombie. His other books include The Tom Clancy Companion with Tom Clancy, Larry Bond and Martin H. Greenburg; the New York Times bestseller, O.J. Simpson: American Hero, American Tragedy; novelizations of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective and Baywatch adventures.

ISFDB Bibliography
Random House: Godzilla 2000
Marc Cerasini's Godzilla column

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Lisa DuMond

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Yes, it is shameful, but I think we can all admit it. Stand up and say proudly (well, not exactly proudly), "I've seen every Godzilla movie at least once." How many more times you've seen it you might want to keep to yourself. We've all done it. We'll do it again if they ever get the new Godzilla to the theatres; we'll actually pay money to watch a giant lizard devour only highly-populated, cultured, vital cities. Here in Tallahassee, we feel perfectly safe.

Having seen the movies, who could resist the chance to read an actual novel about giant monsters? I couldn't, but I wish I had. You see, to read a young adult book, it would be extremely helpful to be... well... young. It hurts to say it, but I was NEVER this young. Random House is targeting the nine-to-twelve market and I got squeezed out of that group decades ago. Even when I hung with the target audience, I think I would have been underwhelmed by this effort.

It seems the Earth is up s**t creek in the worst way. Godzilla, after being twice vanquished is about to wake up from his long winter's nap and wreak havoc again. AND some planet-killer asteroids are headed right for us. AND old friend Rodan and new buddy Varan have popped up out of nowhere, ready to trounce anyone and anything they come into contact with.

It's a kegger of kaiju, the scientific name for huge, klutzy monsters. Huge monsters that you can major in and become a kaijuologist. Watch business majors desert their college in droves.

All this and a cheeky band of teenage video game whizzes being trained to take out Godzilla at first sight. (According to the book cover, Godzilla has no whites of his eyes, so shoot with impunity.) Don't get your hopes up over these young heroes; it's as impossible to care for them as any other character in the novel.

Did I forget to mention the swarm of Hindenburg-sized praying mantis working their way through the heartland? No matter they don't last long enough to make a giant blip on a radar screen.

All these kaiju and characters still refuse to believe the first person who sights each monster. Five giant terrors are acceptable, but a sixth? No way!

That's right: there's another one headed our way.

Monsters are stacking up like cord wood. Thrills are stacking up like Kate Moss. Blurbs of praise fill the inside cover; don't you believe them. And pay close attention to the sources these compliments are gleaned from. It's never a good sign when a publisher leads off with fanzine quotes. Look closer still: the only names recognized by anyone but their mother are actually opinions of Godzilla, the trademarked character, not of any of the onslaught of books screeching toward your local book shelf.

Call me a killjoy, but when the action sequences pack as little excitement as these, perhaps it's a good thing none of them last long enough to draw the reader in. They don't make books that long.

R.L. Stine, your franchise is in no danger.

Copyright © 1998 Lisa DuMond

Lisa DuMond writes science fiction and humour. She co-authored the 45th anniversary issue cover of MAD Magazine. Previews of her latest, as yet unpublished, novel are available at Hades Online.


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