Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Monster Island (Monster Island, #1)” as Want to Read:
Monster Island (Monster Island, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Monster Island

(Monster Island #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  10,377 ratings  ·  549 reviews
It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive — in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia. In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares t ...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published March 24th 2006 by Running Press Adult (first published January 1st 2004)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Monster Island, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sharon I'd say Young Adult would be OK. If they can watch The Walking Dead, they can read this.…moreI'd say Young Adult would be OK. If they can watch The Walking Dead, they can read this.(less)
World War Z by Max BrooksThe Zombie Survival Guide by Max BrooksThe Walking Dead, Vol. 1 by Robert KirkmanFeed by Mira GrantPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
1,582 books — 4,295 voters
World War Z by Max BrooksZombie Fallout by Mark TufoA Plague Upon Your Family by Mark TufoFeed by Mira GrantThe End by Mark Tufo
Best Zombie Books
1,407 books — 3,018 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,377 ratings  ·  549 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Monster Island (Monster Island, #1)
Robin Wiley
Mar 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: zombie
Oh, this started out so good! Ship going through the fog at night, and as the fog clears - there is the Statue of Liberty looming overhead with people milling about the island just like any other day in New York City - except it's at night...and those people aren't tourists anymore.

I was ready for a Zombie book. I loved World War Z! I dug the premise - teenage girl army, with a native New Yorker (and UN worker) as a guide - on a mission to get AIDS drugs for their beloved leader - to Zombie fill
Jun 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people bored at work
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
Read this online. I'm not interested in zombies per se, but I do like post-apocalyptic stories.

Ugh. I mean I got all the way through it, so it wasn't the WORST book in the world. And there were some interesting parts. But overall the thing felt very amateurish, it read like fan fiction. Any hard facts that were in there sounded like stuff the author already knew, random shit about guns and NYC locations. The characters were inconsistent, and the "explanation" for the zombies felt very much like
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Review to follow.
This is not a pure zombie book, it jumps into some paranormal stuff too. But there are plenty of dead bodies walking around, blood, guts and guns. I just finished it and I feel a bit ill. I need a cute romance or something now to walk it off.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
David Wellington takes a shot at the ever-expanding Zombie literature market with his own take on the oft-explored theme of a major city overrun with the living dead. How well does he do? Well, for the most part he does very well indeed.

First off he chucks the incongruous team of a UN Weapons Inspector and a group of female Somalian child-soldiers into New York City, on a quest to find AIDS medicines for an ailing third-world Warlord. If that isn't entertainingly ludicrous enough, the main baddi
Oct 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: zombies, fail
I know zombies are far fetched (which doesn't stop me loving them). But David Wellington takes it to a whole new level, bordering on being plain stupid. It's poorly written but the plot itself irked me to the point I wondered why I was still reading it.
I don't like the idea of a walking/talking zombie, I never really have, but I like the idea of ancient Egyptian mummies still being able to walk around even less. Not to mention the random Scottish ghost/thing that, for some reason, could control
Jul 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book was apparently first published online, and it shows. The chapters are all between 4-6 pages in length and the characterization is about as thin. The characterization in this book is so thin, its friends fear it might be anorexic. Twiggy wishes she was this thin in her prime. This lack of character development and other details make the book's characters hard to get into, and whatever interesting ideas Wellington has (and he has more than a few) are squashed by my inability to feel any ...more
Oct 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
I went into reading this figuring it would be a semi-mindless but fun read, and to my surprise it turned out to be much better than I expected. Pretty awesome and hard to put down.
May 17, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elf M.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've just finished reading Monster Island, which has to be one of the best, most unapologetic zombie books ever written. After the big brouhaha last year in which some NY Review of Books reviewer didn't "get" the whole zombie thing, looking desperately for allegory and meaning in the zombie genre (and to which David Langford gleefully pointed out "They don't have to be an allegory. They're zombies. They eat people. What more do you need?") it's refreshing to read a really gross, horrifying, not ...more
Mar 01, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: creepy-creepy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick D'Orazio
Nov 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I first saw this title I presumed it was about a bunch of giant nuclear radiated creatures who occasionally attack Tokyo. Instead, it is a book about a bunch of diseased undead that attack New York. Not that I was disappointed since I am big fan of the zombie genre.

David Wellington's book starts out like a lot of traditional zombie tales, with those that remain after the undead holocaust doing whatever it takes to survive. In this case, a group of Somali schoolgirls armed to the teeth head
Sep 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: para-zombies
David Wellington originally published Monster Island, as well as many of his other books, online in a serial format. Had I realized that before buying the book, I would have checked out his website first, as it is still available as a free read.

As I've said many times in the past, I am not a zombie purist. I love when authors get creative with the mythology and traits of their zombies, just as long as they still want to eat people. Monster Island has cannibalistic zombies, which immediately put
Jun 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of horror/zombies
Shelves: 2009, horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Monster Island
Author: David Wellington
Publisher: Running Press
Published In: Philadelphia, PA; London, England
Date: 2006
Pgs: 282


New York City is dead and shambling. In the darkness or the light, the dead rule. The living who could escape did. Only a fool would go back. He’s out of options. His and his daughter’s benefactor, the only one keeping them alive in this post-apocalyptic nightmare, needs medical supplie
K. Fritz
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
It's several months after the Epidemic and Dekalb is set with the task of giving his daughter some kind of future. Though his options are slim, giving her the "opportunity" to join the Somali all-girls army (run by a female warlord) is better than letting her die. In the very least she'll learn the fighting skills her new world requires. But the Somali's don't trust Americans and only agree to take her in if Dekalb can provide them with medicine. After confirming nearly every hospital has been t ...more
C.V. Hunt
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Dekalb is a weapons inspector for the UN. He and his young daughter have been captured by a Somalian warlord. He’s been offered refuge for his family and a possible new life for his daughter under certain circumstances.

His mission is to sail to America to find drugs to treat AIDS, since this is what the warlord is infected with, while most of the world has been infected with the zombie virus. It sounds impossible…it sounds like a suicide mission. Who else is going to be able to take care of him
Paul Hamilton
May 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: zombies, novel
A decent zombie tale overall, but many of the mystical elements that power the undead in this book feel a little undeveloped. Perhaps it is that they are presented in a very deus ex machina fashion that allows them to be whatever is necessary for the progression of the plot, but while a departure from the trendy virus explanation is nice, this feels a bit hokey.

In many ways the book reads like a novelization of a video game or a B-grade film, with some odd stylistic choices and a peculiar bit of
Beverly J.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I understand every novel needs a hook to be unique amidst the masses. I also know that all zombies are not created equal. The idea that zombie can feed on life force by eating grass, licking lichen or snacking on spiders is a bit much, in my opinion. This is another with a "cognizant" zombie and the way he stays that way is.......lame. No amount of medical jargon could make this work for me. The protagonist had a way about him that made me lack empathy for him. All in all this was just a severe ...more
Janet Ramski
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm not a fan of zombie lit, so maybe that affects my judgement but I thought this was very amateurish. I got through it, but only by speed reading it. Not satisfying at all, don't bother. Unless of course, you love zombies. ...more
Karl Drinkwater
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
David Wellington's 'monster' series is made up of: Monster Island, Monster Nation and Monster Planet. I had bought them on a day trip to that world of books, Haye-on-Wye. Together they make up an interesting and innovative take on the zombie apocalypse genre. If you like this kind of escapist fiction then I really recommend this trilogy, and I should add that any of the books can be read standalone, though obviously reading them all does add some extra context.

Monster Island shows us a world ove
Michelle Greathouse
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Monster Island is the first book in the Zombie series by David Wellington and a Novel from Running Press.

Book Blurb:

It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive — in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia.

In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares their appet
Rachel Pieters
This book had potential. It's not that David Wellington is a bad writer, b/c he's certainly not. But the book needed much more polish.

There were sentences that were unclear, that needed to be reworded for clarity and flow throughout. I didn't mind the style, kind of a Hemingway shortness to it, which works in a quick, in-your-face story like this. But, the characters needed better motives to do the things they were doing. In a zombie apocalypse, my first concern, as a parent, would not be the e
Andrea Blythe
May 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
In a zombie infested world, only third world countries, those who have suffered constant military insurgencies, have been able to sustain themselves, the heavily armed population able to hold the undead back. Somalia is one of these countries, but the warlord in charge has aids and medicines are in short supply. Dekalb, a UN official and his daughter have been promised safety within Somolia if he can bring the warlord the medicine she needs.

In desperation, he leads a troop of school girl soldier
Mike Rogers
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
David Wellington's "Monster Island" began as a serialized blog about zombies which has now been published in book form. I hadn't heard of the blog before I started reading the book, and really only picked up the book because my dad has a weird sort of fascination with zombies (and does a very convincing zombie walk).

Monster Island starts after an epidemic has wiped out most of the human population of Earth and turned them into zombies. Mr. Dekalb is a United Nations weapons inspector who has sur
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011, e-books

4 stars but note that I am  a confessed zombie-afficiando...

First, this is a short, fast, and fun read that is well written and a real page turner. Yes, there are all the trademark undead classics here, and not a lot that is really new.  There are a few original action sequences, kills, and concepts that make this a quality read.

Wellington has done a great job at creating interesting characters. Dekalb is a good protagonist that I was routing for. Gary is a great bad guy and his back story is on
Ryan Mishap
Nov 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fantasy
This started out promising. There was a, you know, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, and an American is coming to New York with a boatful of Somali guerrilla fighters (mostly young women) to find medicines. I really liked the idea that the war-torn trouble spots around the globe were able to survive better when the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE came because they were already used to fighting and deprivation.
I like some of what he does with the zombie lore, but eventually this great start peters out until, by the end of b
Alondra Miller
Sep 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Zombie folk :O
3 Stars

This was interesting as far as zombies go. From the beginning, you realize that Gary is a talking zombie. Not just talking/mumbling; but functioning brain; ability to think and process information. Of course, he deteriorates without sustenance...ahem.

Anyway, the story is about survivors trying to survive, and some hints of Guillermo Del Toros 'The Strain' ring a little throughout the story. The concept of a zombie speaking made the story interesting, a little out there; but not ridiculou
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
After the zombie apocalypse, a former UN weapons inspector tries to find AIDS drugs in Manhattan for the Somali warlord who is sheltering his daughter. An intelligent super-zombie tries to eat him.

Much of the time it seemed as if the author did a lot of research, but the internal logic broke down unexpectedly from time to time. Why would a sniper target a bad guy's trigger finger? Can you really drag a man down a street by his intestines? In a book that appears to be going for (relatively)hard s
Nov 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to this. You have a Somolian all girls army and a UN weapons inspector searching NYC for AZT to bring back to Africa for their leader. Shit hits the fan like it should and people fight, people die, and it feels like they will never get what they need. All of a sudden around page 130's mummies in the Natural History museum start flopping around in their sarcophagus and things begin to get weird. Not fun weird either. It became stupid weird, that weird where your suspension o ...more
Ross Lockhart
Jun 23, 2007 rated it liked it
Zombies run rampant throughout the ruins of the first world, overrunning the globe’s former population centers. Manhattan has become Monster Island, and it falls to a former U.N. weapons inspector, acting on the bequest of a Somali warlord, to penetrate this quarantined graveyard of a city in search of vital supplies. Think Escape from New York meets Dawn of the Dead, with a dose of black humor, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. There are two follow ups, Monster Nation: A Zom ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Day by Day Armageddon (Day by Day Armageddon,#1)
  • The Living Dead (The Living Dead, #1)
  • The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks
  • The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
  • Beyond Exile (Day by Day Armageddon,# 2)
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
  • Patient Zero (Joe Ledger, #1)
  • Plague of the Dead (Morningstar Strain #1)
  • The Rising (The Rising #1)
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 7: The Calm Before
  • Hater (Hater, #1)
  • Thunder and Ashes (Morningstar Strain #2)
  • Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)
  • Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Stories
  • Dead City (Dead World, #1)
  • Pandemic (Infected, #3)
  • Apocalypse of the Dead (Dead World, #2)
  • This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test, #1)
See similar books…
David Wellington is a contemporary American horror author, best known for his Zombie trilogy as well as his Vampire series and Werewolf series. His books have been translated into eleven langauges and are a global phenomenon.

His career began in 2004 when he started serializing his horror fiction online, posting short chapters of a novel three times a week on a friend’s blog. Response to the projec

Other books in the series

Monster Island (3 books)
  • Monster Nation (Monster Island, #2)
  • Monster Planet (Monster Island, #3)

Related Articles

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be long remembered as a Dumpster fire of a year. But the nice thing about time is that it...
498 likes · 237 comments
“I will not negotiate with the undead!” 37 likes
“It doesn't matter what we choose. It simply matters what we are.” 5 likes
More quotes…