Ahahaha! Once again, my semi-functional intuition has come through for me!
Yes, that's right. I loved
this book. I just want to smother it with praise. I have never been so happy with a random book I've chosen off a shelf.
Alright, alright, I'm done fangirling. On to the actual review.
Nick Gautier is an average fourteen year old kid. Sort of. If you take away the fact that recently cannibal attacks have erupted at his school, zombies are suddenly roaming the streets by the dozen, and his best friends are chainsaw-wielding monster slayers with a few screws loose.
Even more normal when he discovers that more than half the football team are shape shifters. And the class nerd ends up turning them into the living undead.
And so, with a few demons, armed lunatics, hotrod goth chicks, and a mysterious man who looks suspiciously like Nick, they must stop the zombie apocalypse at its source. Which is sort of hard to do, when that "source" may or may not be Nick himself.
This book is full of so much win
that I'm surprised it didn't explode from the sheer epicness. Seriously. I want to personally wrap this book in gold cloth and give it to everyone on the planet. Just read it.
Nick Gautier is absolutely my favorite literary protagonist ever.
His sarcasm is beyond belief, along with his comebacks and jokes. He took everything in stride, and managed to be totally clueless without losing his dignity. Hell, he was just awesome.
I think 65% of my love for this book was because of him.
What's even better? He sounded like a boy.
Now, not to sound sexist or anything, but women authors ninety percent of the time suck at writing from a boy's perspective. Either they make the boy too flowery and romantic, or they make him stupid as chiz. Generally a combination of the two. But Nick? Nick sounded like what I imagine it would be like to be inside a really awesome boy's head. I didn't realize the author was a girl until I was halfway through the book, and I was surprised.
That's good writing right there. When the readers are shocked at the differences between you and your characters? Yah.
Also on this bloody adventure were Bubba and Mark, two of the most insane shop keepers I have ever known. Anyone who keeps a flame thrower, rocket launcher, a hundred different guns, and an ax behind their counter has to be just a little off their rocker. Or paranoid. Bubba and Mark are both, but for good reasons. Because they are the only two people in town who are fully prepared and equipped when the zombies descended.
Cross out "Bob" and write "Bubba." That should tell you a lot about his character.
Simi, though, had to be my favorite in this story, besides Nick. The Simi was a Goth Lolita character, which I always love, and she was epic. She taught me that even zombies can taste good with barbecue sauce. And that it's actually possible to make grammatically incorrect sentences sound cute. (I never thought it was possible)
Caleb was questionable, but he won my heart in the end just like the rest. I have no idea what his true motives are, but he seems
like a good guy. I think.
Anyways, those are the main characters. There's also a few other ones, but they're not as important and not nearly as fun to write about. On to the plot.
There was not a single point in the story at which I was bored. It was never slow paced, and even when something wasn't going on, Nick's sarcastic narration made it worth reading. Also, the action was well described, so I was able to picture it in my head, rather than just re create the scene mentally using my own understandable words.
Also, there were tons of references that are fun to pick up on. It gave me a really giddy feeling everytime I understood the characters' allusions. (and if you don't get it, the context clues make it easy to know what they're talking about). There were references to video games, movies, anime, cultural terms. It added to the whole "he actually sounded like a teenage boy" thing because, let's face it: You cannot
sound like a realistic teenager without alluding to lots of things. We make inside jokes, we quote things, and we listen to a lot of music and shows. It happens.
And yet the author was able to do so without sounding obnoxious. Rather than advertising things, she made it sound like it really casually came up. As if she hadn't even meant to include it. It was nice, listening to him talk about specific things without feeling like people were trying to sell me stuff.
The best part about this book, though, aside from the characters and writing---the climax.
Oh my god, it was epic.
With zombies and mind control and demons and flame throwers, it was by far the most fantabulous book climax I'd ever read in my entire life, next to Divergent
. I was on the edge of my seat clapping like an idiot with my eyes glued to the page. I don't think a book has ever gotten that reaction out of me (besides the ones I listed.) It was extraordinary.
Duhn Duhn Duhhhnnnn
Oh come on, people. You should have expected this. I am a negative person. I need to complain to survive.
So yes, I did have a few problems with this, despite all my worship. They were small, nearly insignificant problems, but I still feel they should be brought up so that you know what to expect. (A few of these problems could have been avoided if I'd known about them beforehand.)
Alright. So my first issue is that characters kept disappearing. By disappearing I don't mean they were in the scene but not talked about. I mean they were in all these scenes in the beginning of the book, built up to look super mighty and important, and then they didn't show up for the rest of the book. They just vanished.
A few examples of this are Kyrian and Acheron. Pretty much the entire first half of the book was about Nick meeting Kyrian and talking with Acheron, and how peculiar they were and all. They seemed to have a really big part in the story. But then, when we get to the second half of the book, I think they show up a total of one time. One time. I don't get it. Where did they go? Why don't they have any relevance any more?
Yeah. So that was irritating.
Going off of that, there were also characters that were the exact opposite
---they were mentioned and described a bit in the first half, and then all of the sudden they played a dire role in the second half and we're supposed to remember what they look like or what Nick's relationship with them is. And then I was totally lost, because I hadn't paid attention to them before, so I had to flip back and see if they were nice to him at school, or mean, or cannibals, whatever
Misleading, it is.
Also, even more confusing than that, is that it was never established where everyone stood on their beliefs. Did Nick think Caleb was human? Or did he already know he was a demon? Did he believe in zombies, or was he just humoring everyone until it got serious? And so then I was going, "What? Huh? No! You can't do that!" every time someone did something that could reveal their secret identity, because I thought Nick was still in the dark, but no,
turns out he already knew about this chiz. Or vice versa, and I would be wondering why he was so confused when I thought he was already in the know.
Settings were mixed up, too, where I thought they were outside but then somehow they magically transported inside a building or a UFO or something. The timeline was screwy too.
IT WAS CONFUZZLING. VERY CONFUZZLING.
My other problem with this book was Nick Gautiers mom. She had to be the most annoying YA mom ever
(besides Mara's mom in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
. I loathed her.). She was constantly nagging and whining and complaining and punishing Nick over everything
. After a while I just wanted someone to duct tape her mouth. There was one point n the story where she gets tranquilized, and that was awesome because she finally shut up. There is a difference between "over-protective" and "I MUST SMOTHER YOU WITH MAH EVAHLASTING LOVE!"
But, whatever. That was just her personality. It wasn't the authors fault.
There were also some smaller problems, that only someone as petty and easily irritated as I would pick up (Stop spelling 'magic' with a K, dammit! Get some easier to pronounce names!) but they were all stupid and not actually the author's fault. Mostly just my frustration that I barely had anything significant to complain about.
Anyway, yes, I give this book 5 stars. I wish I could give it 6 stars. 10 stars. 1,000,000 stars. ∞ stars. Whatever.
JUST READ IT.
And now I will write a few of my favorite quotes:"Where am I?"
"Really? No kidding? And here I thought I was at McDonald's."
"Yeah, any time something freaky happened, blame the Goth or the voudoun communities---'cause normal people could never be insane."
"Oh my God, Bubba has a sex dungeon!"
"See, only really smart animals have hornays... except for them moo moo cows---they not bright."
"Please don't hurt me, Ash. Please. I don't want to die while I'm still a virgin. At least let me get laid before you kill me---which according to my mom I can't do until I'm married and I can't do that until I finish college, So you have to wait a good ten years before you snuff me."
"It was all those paint chips I ate as a kid. They were good, but chromosomally damaging."