Stephen's Reviews > Infected

Infected by Scott Sigler
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May 09, 12

bookshelves: ebooks, audiobook, 2006-2010, science-horror, invasion, eco-medical-biological
Read from May 06 to 09, 2012

Gee...um...well...this was...uh... blue-in-the-face
...severely frustrating.

It had an interesting premise, a solid story, and truly excellent horror elements…BUT it also had shitty characters, and dialogue that grated on my nerve clusters bad enough to leave me irked with the entire effort.
facepalm-baby

Such a hope-dashing, bitter disappointment this was for me. After really enjoying Ancestor some time ago, I was looking to Sigler to become a new staple for me in the realm of science-horror. Now, after this miss, it looks like his newest effort, Nocturnal, will be the deciding vote on whether he and I have a future together.
 
And so it goes.  
 
Undressing the novel down to its various components, I thought most of them were good to excellent. Sigler has a terrific imagination, and I was a fan of both the plot and the science fiction/horror aspects. It was just that giant, dimpled, 800 pound BUT that ruined things by blowing stink all over the story.  

First, the positives.

The Good:
 
1. The premise...ET virus lands on Earth, finds warm, comfy humans to nest in, and turns these  “infected” into paranoid, murderous sickfuckopaths. Me likely...thumbs up!
 
2. Intriguing backstory/details on the parasitic space invaders, complete with plenty of easily digestible science bits on how the nasties work once inside a their host. Again, I thought this was nicely done.
 
3. The laying out of the various stages of the viral incubation, and the increasingly destressing symptoms as the infection progressed was handled in a manner that kept the pages turning.   
 
4. The “stakes raising” plot development regarding the virus not being “just” a virus really ramped up the tension and added a sense of freshness to what could have been a very pedestrian plague novel.
 
5. Healthy doses Disturbing amounts of blood, gore, and almost unmentionable dismemberments (I’ll simply mention “Chicken Scissors” and leave it at that). Just thinking of it makes me wince. Still, this was sick, graphic and wonderfully entertaining.   
 
Unfortunately…disappointment lurked nearby...in the shadows.
Photobucket
 
The Shitty:
 
The characters in charge of carrying the story were just horrible. I didn’t get along with a single one, and the only thing worse than their clanging internal monologues was when they opened their pie holes to speak. I’m not saying all of the dialogue was bad, but it rarely felt natural, and there were far too many wincing, eye-rolling moments to overlook.
 
In essence, that ruined this novel for me. I cared for no one affected by the virus, not just because they were two-dimensional and unrealistic, but because they were dumbass annoyasauruses.

Anyway, I don’t want to belabor the point, because I can hear “Baby Rage” just itching to make an appearance in this review. It wasn’t “Baby Rage” bad…the characters and dialogue were...but the rest of the story was a solid 3 star effort…parts of it even 4 star worthy as I really thought the premise was fun.
 
BUT....the negatives were too large and hairy to overlook.
 
2.0 stars.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 61) (61 new)


message 1: by Melki (new)

Melki Geez - it sounded great til the large hairy things took over.


message 2: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten I was "severely" (to quote Romney) disappointed in this book. I couldn't finish it.


Kaethe I would be sorry that the dialogue killed the reading experience for you, except that it gave rise to the phrase "dumbass annoyasauruses" which is brilliant.


message 4: by Kat (new)

Kat Man, with a story like that you'd think the overall would be better. Drat.


Tamahome I actually liked it, in a gross kind of way. Maybe it was because I listened to Scott's audio version that I liked the characters fine. He actually deepens his voice with computer for one character.

I'm in the middle of Nocturnal. It starts off like a buddy cop movie. But it's twice as long as Infected.


message 6: by Katy (new) - added it

Katy Kaethe wrote: "I would be sorry that the dialogue killed the reading experience for you, except that it gave rise to the phrase "dumbass annoyasauruses" which is brilliant."

I'm with you on this!


Robin Edman I think that this book was better heard than read, and had it not been so delightfully disgusting, I would agree with you on the rating. The end game was unsatisfactory, and the protag team was not made up of high quality humans. But they were GREAT triangle fodder! You'll dislike the second book every bit as much; I hope for your sake that you will skip it.


Stephen I actually listened to the audio of this read by Sigler, and it didn't seem to help. His narration began to bother me (mostly his female voices). I think I am going to read Nocturnal as I had a good experience with the print version of Ancestor.

Thanks for the heads up on the second book. I will probably avoid.


Stephen Jeffrey wrote: "I was "severely" (to quote Romney) disappointed in this book. I couldn't finish it."

Probably what I should have done, but my illness prevents me from not finishing a book I start. I'm hoping to be cured of that someday.


Stephen Kat wrote: "Man, with a story like that you'd think the overall would be better. Drat."

Yeah, it had a lot of good going for it. It's just that BUT that killed it.


Stephen Tamahome wrote: "I actually liked it, in a gross kind of way. Maybe it was because I listened to Scott's audio version that I liked the characters fine. He actually deepens his voice with computer for one charact..."

I am hoping I like Noctural, Tamahome. My fingers are crossed.


Stephen Kaethe wrote: "I would be sorry that the dialogue killed the reading experience for you, except that it gave rise to the phrase "dumbass annoyasauruses" which is brilliant."

Thanks, Kaethe. At least something positive came out of this experience. :)


Stephen Melki wrote: "Geez - it sounded great til the large hairy things took over."

Isn't that always the case?


message 14: by Bill (new)

Bill Great review Steve, and sorry for your disappointment.

For alien infestations, you really must check out A Matter For Men (The War Against the Chtorr, #1). It totally kicks ass.

I've only been waiting 20 years for the fifth novel to come out...it's supposed to have been 'this year' for the past couple of years.
Really worth checking out, I think you'd like it.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I think the "...800-pound, dimpled BUT..." needs to be added to my excoriation kit. Genius!

I feel so sorry for this poor lame-o that I want to go buy a copy to make up for all the golden showers you just rained on his sales.

But I won't.


message 16: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Lutz Is this the book with the Killswitch Engage Lyrics in the beginning? If so.... meh...


message 17: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie Chicken Scissors...I'll never sleep again


Stephen Bill wrote: "For alien infestations, you really must check out A Matter For Men (The War Against the Chtorr, #1). It totally kicks ass."

Thanks, Bill. I actually own that already and have thought about reading it a few times. I will move it up on the list.


message 19: by Becky (last edited May 09, 2012 10:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Becky LOL @ "the only thing worse than their clanging internal monologues was when they opened their pie holes to speak."

This seriously made me laugh out loud. I'm not just saying that.

You have this one your audiobook shelf - did you actually listen to the audio? Because... whoa. I think I attributed a lot of the dialog to the err... "reading". It was... not good.

Though, I must admit, Sigler commented on my updates, and he's a nice guy, so I feel a teensy bit bad for ranting about the reading. Just a teensy bit though... because the rest of me is still recovering. ;)


Stephen Richard wrote: "I think the "...800-pound, dimpled BUT..." needs to be added to my excoriation kit. Genius!

I feel so sorry for this poor lame-o that I want to go buy a copy to make up for all the golden showers ..."


Mr. Sigler is doing quite well in his book sales, and I'm sure he has nothing to fear from the flecks of spittle that are my review.


Stephen Tyler wrote: "Is this the book with the Killswitch Engage Lyrics in the beginning? If so.... meh..."

There is music at the beginning of audio, but I couldn't tell you if it was that one...Meh is right though.


Stephen B0nnie wrote: "Chicken Scissors...I'll never sleep again"

I wince just thinking about it.


Stephen Becky wrote: "You have this one your audiobook shelf - did you actually listen to the audio? Because... whoa. I think I attributed a lot of the dialog to the err... "reading". It was... not good."

I agree, Becky. The reading really made things worse for me. Like you, I feel a little bad about being negative because Sigler seems like such a good guy and is so willing to allow his work to be sampled for free, etc.. I just had to be honest. I tried to soften it by mentioning how much I enjoyed Ancestor. Plus I did buy a Hardback copy of Nocturnal so at least I'm contributing to his success...for now.


Trudi I'm going to blame your less than stellar experience on "the listening" :)


Stephen I think that is fair. I am certainly going to "read" my next Sigler.


Becky Stephen wrote: "I think that is fair. I am certainly going to "read" my next Sigler."

Ditto this. I have Contagious on my Nook, and actually plan to read it soon. I am actually looking forward to it.


message 27: by Stephen (last edited May 09, 2012 01:58PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Stephen Did you read Ancestor? I had a lot of fun with that one.


Stephanie Griffin Disagree on your review. I LOVED this book because it was sick, sick, horror with events I could never imagine in my pea-brain. It succeeded in making me become very unnerved. The story was the point, the characters a background. If you look at it that way, it was most excellent!


Stephen I completely agree with you, Stephanie, that the story was clever and the horror elements were just, well, WOW. I just found the characters to be SO irritating that it ruined the story for me.


message 30: by Markus (last edited May 09, 2012 04:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Markus I gave this 3 and ½ stars...my problem was not with the dialogue or characters. Main ex-football dude and his pal were douchebags. Only one character that felt too fakey was Clarence Otto. I'm the only one who got Stephen King vibe from this? I read somewhere that Sigler is big fan of his. My main problem was that i just wanted to read Dawsey's struggle with infection...all else was filler to me, the good points you give were enough to me. I will read Contagious soon.


message 31: by Maciek (new)

Maciek Damn! I was looking forward to reading this one.


Stephen Well I seem to be in the minority, Maciek, so don't necessarily give up on it. My one suggestion would be to "read" rather than "listen" to it as I think the narration added to my issues with it.


message 33: by Tatiyana (new) - added it

Tatiyana White Only two [stars], huh? I was also looking forward to reading this one but...now I'm not so sure :-P


Stephen For what it's worth, I seem to be in the minority on this one, Tatiyana. Others have liked it a lot more.


message 35: by Tatiyana (new) - added it

Tatiyana White Hm... Did the characters have any redeeming qualities at all?


message 36: by Stephen (last edited May 10, 2012 05:55PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Stephen In my opinion, no. I disliked all of them


message 37: by Anne (Booklady) (new)

Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo LOL, You don't like G.W. do ya, Stephen? Hate to tell you that I do...oops.


Stephen It's not that, Anne. He just found himself in some very amusing photos.


message 39: by Anne (Booklady) (new)

Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo Stephen wrote: "It's not that, Anne. He just found himself in some very amusing photos."

LOL, true dat.


message 40: by Qazyman (last edited May 11, 2012 03:22AM) (new)

Qazyman There are two books in this series, and the second one (Contagious) goes much farther off the deep end. I actually enjoyed them more than Ancestor, but only because they are so insanely bizarre. I think you have to give Siglar credit for being able to focus such an extreme point of view, but I agree that the writing is mediocre at best.


Becky Stephen wrote: "It's not that, Anne. He just found himself in some very amusing photos."

It's funny, because the more I look at that picture, the more I am convinced that the color changes. Pink... red... purple... blue...

Maybe just wishful thinking. ;)


Stephen I still chuckle every time I see that. What a great shot to capture with the White House sign in the background.


message 43: by Christian (new) - added it

Christian I can read this (later) since I don't have to like the hero or the villains


message 44: by Nancy (new) - rated it 1 star

Nancy Totally agree with your review, Stephen. I borrowed a copy from the library and managed about 50 pages or so. It reminded me a lot of those bad Robin Cook thrillers I read years ago, with the same cardboard characters and mediocre writing. The premise and Sigler's good reputation drew me in and I felt a little guilty for my 1-star rating, but I'm over it and glad to know others didn't care for the story.

In a horror novel, it is important for me to like (or at least empathize) with the characters so I can shed a tear or two when they die off.


Kaethe Robin Cook, bless his heart, wrote a lot of mediocre books.


message 46: by Jane (last edited Jun 09, 2012 06:18PM) (new)

Jane This book was tiresome in the extreme. He has a new one out that is a little bit better. I'm talking about infected here. Can't remember new title.


message 47: by Alanna (new)

Alanna Yeah this book was awful smh somthing that should be thrown in the trash immediately!


message 48: by Anne (new)

Anne Annoyasaurus! Love it!
Do your reviews ever suck? I think not...


Tamahome Come home Stephen...


message 50: by Shahzeb (new)

Shahzeb lOl I like it.....


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