‘Mars, May Zombie’ a YA novel inspired by the pandemic is about to drop this MIBF


Malaking factor talaga yung pandemic.” 

The pandemic was said to be a time when people were able to be left alone with their thoughts. This bodes to be true even with novelist Chuckberry J. Pascual, too. Writer of works such as Ang Nawawala, Kumpisal: Mga Kuwento, Hindi Ito Romansa, Bayan ng mga Bangkay, and many more titles, Pascual is back with another piece that is about to make its debut at this year’s Manila International Bookfair.

Titled ‘Mars, May Zombie!’ the story is about a gay teenager, Marcelo “Mars” Manapat, living in a post-zombie apocalyptic Philippines. However, the young adult novel will not focus on brutality, but on the sense of community that is brought in a situation like so. Said to be a horror comedy, Marcelo, along with his grandmother Vicky and best friend Billie, will stumble upon renewed courage, life, and hope not just for themselves, but for the entire country too.


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The concept was partly helped by the hearsay that once you get vaccinated, you’ll become a zombie,” said Pascual. But even before the novel, the author had been dabbling with zombie fiction as it was his way to cope with grief.

After working on ‘Bayan ng mga Bangkay’, the darker book with heavier themes, I want the readers to have a hopefully, much lighter and easier read,” said Pascual when asked what he wanted readers to take away from the novel.

Pascual also wishes that readers find hope in our current predicament through the story. “The pandemic leaves us feeling hopeless sometimes, left asking when will this end, but Mars is in a zombie apocalypse and yet they’re still fighting. The work aims to share at least a bit of that spirit to readers.”

As a pop-culture nut himself, Pascual said to expect Beyonce and Drag Race references littered in the chapters.

A year in the making, ‘Mars May Zombie’ is available starting tomorrow online at Adarna House’s official website. Physical copies will hit the stands at the SMX Convention Center for MIBF on September 16. Book signing with Mr. Chuckberry Pascual will be on September 18, 2022, at 4 PM.

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