Whoa! What a trip!
Three and a half stars: A zombie book with some big surprises!
Nick heads out to work ready to endure another monotonous day at the chicken processing plant. Today, though, there is a surprise in store: he gets a promotion and a pay raise. He is now the special butcher for the new line of chicken products. Perhaps now he will finally have the guts to talk to Petal Gazes, the girl he has a major crush on, or not. Unfortunately, for Nick the monotonous line of chickens on the belt and the endless work cause him to lose focus and he accidentally slices open his hand. Blood gushes out from the deep wound, but he is too afraid to pull the emergency button. The chickens fall to the floor and blood splatters.....The next thing we know, Nick is charged and prosecuted with destroying thousands of dollars worth of poultry. His punishment is a three month stint in a wilderness adventure camp with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents. Three months isn't so bad, that is until the campers wake up to find their counselors munching on human flesh. A zombie plague is upon them! Nick and the others battle for their lives........Surrounded by zombies the survivors wonder if it might just be better to let a zombie nibble on your hand and end it all........
What I Liked:
*This is a zombie book that at first plays out like a typical zombie infestation. People going about their normal lives until the day they wake up and find all hell breaking loose as friends, neighbors, co workers, family, etc. are now the walking dead with a need to eat flesh. So admittedly, I was a bit bored with the familiar story line, one where a cast of characters fights to survive and one by one they are picked off as the zombie hoard multiplies. I was thrilled when I reached the three quarters mark of the book and hit the twists and then the story took on a whole new life. I loved the ending and that the author provided explanations for the infection and added some unique and thrilling aspects that I was not expecting. If you are wanting a zombie read that is different check this one out, keeping in mind that the good stuff is further toward the end.
*I enjoyed the author's unique sense of humor. This book is full of snark and it has lots of off the wall humor, which is hard to describe unless you read it. If you like books that beat to a different drum, you will like this one. There is quite a bit of crude jokes, considering that the majority of the book revolves around a band of teenage boys. I also appreciated all the weird inclusions, such as: police reports, chicken menus, lists, flashbacks, etc.
*This book has some memorable characters. I personally enjoyed Nick's father, The Dude, he is a out of work hippie reminiscent of The Dude in The Big Lebowski, and he totally made me laugh. I also really liked Amanda, Nick's younger sister who supposedly has Aspergers. Amanda at nine years old, spends hours endlessly playing shoot 'em up video games. She has a few surprises up her sleeve. Finally, Nick, a.k.a. Nero, the unlikely hero. He is a quiet, somewhat shy nerdy kid who channels the Rock in his head. He is one of those unassuming guys that you can't help but to root for.
*I appreciated that this book was not overly gory and gross. Yes, of course, there are plenty of zombie munching scenes but the blood and guts descriptions are not too horrific so If you are a bit on the squeamish side you will be okay. If you are looking for a book packed with blood and guts, you might be a bit disappointed. For me, it was the right amount.
And The Not So Much:
*This is not a smooth read. At times, it is a bit disjointed and I was puzzled as to why I kept reading about chickens and all of the other extraneous stuff that seemed to have nothing to do with the main plot. At least, the numerous flashbacks are labeled so you know you are reading a flashback. The story flow is choppy, but I was pleased that three quarters of the way through that everything starting snapping in place and making sense, but up until that point the book was a bit confusing at times.
*I never felt like I had a good grip on all the supporting cast. Nick spends the majority of the book with this band of juvenile delinquents, but I didn't feel like they were well developed and I had trouble keeping them all straight. At the end, there is a bunch of added in police reports that go over the details of each boy's arrest. Perhaps it would have been better to interject them sooner so I had a better idea of the characters. The Dude was by far my favorite secondary character and I was disappointed that he didn't have a bigger role. He certainly added some flair to the story.
*I was a bit bored through the middle sections of the book as it fell into a well worn, familiar zombie story: people fighting for their lives and then they fall one by one to the zombies. Even the author jests at this typical plot as numerous times the characters refer to what happens if you are in a zombie movie, but it pays off and the ending was worth the wait!
The Infects provides something a bit different in the zombie genre. While the zombie infestation and attacks are a bit trite, the final revelations and the explanations behind the plague are new and unexpected. I was thrilled to discover an ending with some big surprising twists. If you are a fan of zombie books, I suggest you give this one a try. The Infects with its unique humor will make you laugh and give you some new ideas to consider regarding zombies.
"Except that she was also wearing the kind of two-toned blood mask you could only get from burying your face deeply into another person, a demarcation line just below the eyes, the spot where teeth could reach no further."
"Nick Sole, texturbating. Pathetic."
"Nick felt unusually suave his antibacterial slippers and hairnet, sporting the same Guns N' Roses T-shirt for God knows how many shifts, Axl smelling even worse than he probably did in person."
"There is no cool in Zomb-A Pocalypse," Yeltsin said. "There is only survival, or to be an appetizer."
"That sounds of frustration and hunger from outside were muted, the highs and lows cut out, resulting in a steady middle of want. Which somehow made it even worse."
"He looked like a guy who wanted to kick sand in your face and then kick you in the face for swallowing sand."
"Splitting up is just a cheap way to kill off the secondary cast, and I am totally part of the first cast."
"The price of leadership is that your raw materials are chosen for you."
"Things to Trust: Your gun. A dead bolt. A wrench. A strong piece of rope. The flammability of a can of diesel. The edibility of a can of tuna. Bass knuckles. A survival knife. Things Not to Trust: Everything and everyone else."
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for and honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for this review.Rainy Day Ramblings