Publisher: Candlewick Press
Page Count: 384
A feast for the brain, this gory and genuinely hilarious take on zombie culture simultaneously skewers, pays tribute to, and elevates the horror genre.
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back. Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read — whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten — and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this book through Netgalley.com
First off the cover is really awesome and I love the chickens on it, it’s rather random but once you read the book you get why they are there. Anyway, this was a rather confusing read for me, plot-wise and also the way I felt about it. At times I couldn’t stand to read anymore and then at other points I was practically speeding through it. So I’ve determined this is one of those books that you have to be in the mood for or it just doesn’t work.
The writing style is odd to say the least. It’s not bad and given the subject matter I have chalked it up to being overly quirky on purpose. There were times where you are given several ways to say the same thing, it’s like a bombardment of adjectives and it left me rather irritated. The story was kind of out there but kind of not, if that makes sense and it probably doesn’t. It is a zombie novel so that allows for a lot of original quirky things to be introduced and boy does Beaudoin introduce the quirk…at times he practically forces you into small enclosed spaces with it. It’s not meant to be taken seriously but there were times when the ridiculous became to much for me.For instance why no one noticed the completely odd behavior of others during the beginning of the book…I think I’d do something if I saw someone trying to bite someone else. Scream at least, but not in this book…well not until later at least. The actual zombie action took a while to get to but it was by far the best part of the book. I enjoyed their fight to survive against the rather brutal and super creepy zombies chasing them. There were moments where I was really into it and I appreciated the lack of convention when it came to it. I also enjoyed about half of the humor involved but found some of it a tad forced. The plot doesn’t really start out normal and it certainly doesn’t finish that way, which is also another plus. I really liked the rather cool opening scene and I liked how things turned out in the end which was not what I was expecting at all.
The characters were hugely annoying at first. There were so many references to the male anatomy that I had to stop reading, it doesn’t offend me and I’ve been known to laugh at immaturity at times but it really did become too much. I think I would have been fine with it, but there were a lot of random moments where it was just kind of thrown in there for no real reason. Nick (Nero) was actually an interesting main character and I really liked his transformation throughout the book. The other boys in the camp were hit and miss with me, there were a few that I liked but the rest I quickly deemed to be zombie food. They were all fairly interesting characters and I found myself rather interested in how they came to be in the juvie program, which to my pleasure Beaudoin includes a few rap sheets at the end of the novel.
Overall I’m sitting on a very tentative 2 stars. The plot was interesting, though at times it can get pretty confusing. Also if you don’t like or mind cursing or references to reproductive organs, you should probably stay away from this. I still have a lot of questions about the plot as well, so I’m not fully satisfied on that account either. In short, this book leaves me scratching my head.
You can purchase The Infects here on Amazon: