I can’t remember when I learned about Minecraft: The Island. Furthermore, I’m not exactly sure when I made the connection that it was written by Max Brooks. Yes, Minecraft week is bleeding into a second week. I wanted to say “again” there. Because, it feels like the last time we did Minecraft, it took over two weeks. What can I say? We really like Minecraft around here. Okay, with that being said, let’s get to the introduction.
Max Brooks is the son of Mel Brooks. He is also the author of World War Z, one of my favorite takes on the zombie genre. In fact, I have started to write my own zombie short story in a similar fashion. Sorry, I know this isn’t self promotion time. I was just discussing on Facebook with a friend this particular story and I think that I should start writing it again. I’ve always wanted to release that particular collection around Halloween. That gives me 4 months.
Instead, I’m going to promote another guy’s book? Someone who probably doesn’t need my help? I guess that just goes to show what a great guy I am. Okay, seriously, though, let’s get on to the review.
It’s Minecraft: How much longer can I get away with this gimmick? Since only about maybe half a dozen people actually read this page, probably quite a while. Again, though, I have to add the caveat that it is as much like Minecraft as a book possibly can be. So, like the game, it is obviously limited. However, anyone who has ever played the game knows exactly what the book will be about even if it wasn’t titled as a Minecraft book.
It’s a good story: This should come as no surprise. Mel Brooks, even through the satire and stupid humor, has always been a good storyteller. Clearly, like Joe Hill, his son has inherited that particular talent. World War Z was an amazing story and this one is, too. If you’re anything like me, you will simultaneously want more of the story and want to play Minecraft after finishing this book.
Young Adult: The book is YA, which is a catch all these days for anything that they’re not entirely sure how to categorize. That’s not a bad thing mind you. I would love for my kids to read both this book and The Hunger Games even though you might think that both books are very different in content and themes.
What I’ve learned from the world of Minecraft: This note at the end of the book hit particularly close to home. I resisted Minecraft for a while because I wrote it off as a silly or stupid game without much in the way of a story. While the last part is mostly correct, I’ve been able to craft my own stories as I’ve played, and Quinn has done the same. I’m not entirely sure about Aiden, but he has regaled me with stories of his adventures from time to time. The game has provided an outlet and a way to connect with my kids that is priceless. I appreciate that it has the same effect on others.
Short: Minecraft: The Island a short book, but that’s to be expected from YA. Again, this isn’t a bad thing necessarily. However, as I mentioned earlier, I was thirsting for more by the end of the book. Oh well, I can just go play Minecraft and make my own stories.
My Idea!: Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’ve never had the idea to actually write a Minecraft story. But, I have had the idea to put together a video series of a guy who wakes up in the Minecraft world and follow him as he learns about this strange new world. Yeah, I know, piss or get off the pot. Well, I’ve been updating the web page for a good few months now. I think I’m ready to piss YouTube videos. Ugh, sorry for that visual.
Minecraft: The Island is one heck of a book. It was a bit surprising that it was such a good story. No, not because I didn’t trust Max Brooks to tell a good story. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. I have seen other authors who venture into YA territory and you can tell that they’re not giving their best efforts. Max Brooks didn’t take that route. I’m glad that he didn’t. If you want to kill a day at the beach, you could do much worse than this book.