‘Infected’, ‘Emergence’, and ‘Stranded’: Three books that push the boundaries of sanity and I love them


I had the opportunity to get to know the Vitka brothers during my October Movie Review Marathon. Brothers William and Sean Vitka collaborated and created a movie review in the light of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’.  They created a hilarious review of the ridiculous movie Lizzie that should be known for the longest coffee making/pouring scene in a movie. Ever.

William Vitka is also a journalist, writer, and author who wrote the three books that I am going to review here. Sean Vitka created the cover art and any illustrations in the books. William has created a new type of zombie and a disturbing type of mutation to the zombie lore. Before I start talking about my thoughts, we don’t we discuss the plot of the books.

So, let’s talk about these books.


829b549640a2c3e71f4a4a7020db8cc9EMERGENCE is a dark, brutal and gritty Horror Fantasy. It’s a coming of age story with giant monsters and super-powered kids.

Twelve-year-old Caleb Svoboda is a little Einstein. He’s brilliant. And even if his tough-guy older brother Jack doesn’t set the best example, they’re part of a loving family. They know they’re lucky.But that luck runs out when an ancient creature awakens under Brooklyn … Reality is cast into nightmares … Everything changes when the ancient creature’s evil kin decide they want to take planet Earth back …The only thing standing in the monsters’ way are a few superkids from Brooklyn.

Take any apocalyptic Young Adult novel and inject it with a seismic amount of insanity. We’re talking Hellraiser meets Heroes or a mashup of John Dies at the End with Chronicle and Godzilla. The pure viciousness of the horror is equally balanced by the innocence of the three leads.

The book brings a new life and humor to the ‘coming of age’ tale. The largest difference being an honest look at the human factor. As humans, we feel pain, anger, love, and hate. While it is nice to read about the ‘higher motives’ of humanity, there is a lack of reality. Real people react to life and challenges in ways that are not often explained on books. That is something I appreciated about this book. When hurt or when a loved one is hurt, the kids lash out in a way that makes sense. On top of that, there is an insane amount of creative weapon use (chainsaws, man chainsaws).


vitka_book_infected_coverfrontWhat if Philip K. Dick and Hunter S. Thompson had collaborated on The Walking Dead?”
NYC has two renewable resources: Attitude and sleazy politicians. Now, one politician has ushered in the end of the world. A councilman kills a hooker with his penis. From that shocking sexual dalliance is spawned a super parasite that transforms its victims into ravenous monsters — and it’s loose on the streets of New York. There are things worse than zombies out there. Who will survive this apocalypse?
I’m pretty sure that if you read the synopsis above, you are aware of what you are getting in this tale. It’s a gritty, no-holds-barred assault on typical sensibilities and creates a futuristic world that is dying due to a strange infection that creates mutating zombie like creatures. The only thing these creatures want is to spread the parasite that changes them. These changes are like evolution on an escalated scale.
In this book, we follow the adventures of a tabloid journalist, his girlfriend, and some other friends (both old and new) as they try to survive in an overrun New York. The streets are awash with zombies, mutants, and the chaos of a city that is crumbling. Not only are the creatures being more physically advances, they become trickier.
Stranded_Cover‘Stranded’ – An invasion tale like no other. An intelligent sci-fi adventure for the working man. It’s THE GREY meets ALIENS. Men isolated at a logging camp in Alaska spend their days working and driving dogs. Drinkers. Smokers. Tough guys doing a tough job. In the middle of a terrible storm, a black circular shape careens overhead. None of them want to admit that they saw it: A goddamn flying saucer.
A group of loggers, working alone in the Alaskan wilderness, see an UFO crashing into a mountain. They go to see what it is and they find out that yes, yes it really is aliens. Each of the loggers has a separate reaction to the news and to the times as they change. Some view all of the aliens with aggression and others try to understand. Added into that, the US military did not miss the advent of the ship without a sizeable response. Not is all as it seems when their seems to be two different camps of aliens who are warring against themselves as well as against humanity.
Overall, I love all three of these books. The realistic depiction of human reactions to adverse situations creates an amazing feel to the stories. Books like these are a class of their own. These three books reminded me of John Dies at the End, a book I love for its irreverent take on fiction. These books are amazing in the way they depict stress and human reactions. Too often, books focus on an undying pursuit of all that is pure in this world. These books speak to the workingman (or woman) who have those special friendships that are based on harassing each other.
I can’t recommend these books enough. They made me laugh out loud (LOL indeed), they made me get all sorts of grossed out, and they made me feel sad. The interpersonal relationships absolutely reminded me of how my friends and I interact, where all sorts of smack talk take the place of friendship statements. Seriously folks, you really need to check out these books. If you would like to see what other projects the Vitka brothers are working on, you can check out their Facebook page which you can see here.

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