Title: The Infects
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Book #: Standalone
Publish Date: September 25th 2012
Date Read: September 2nd 2013
Rating: ★★★ / out of 5
"Hey, don't act like you're never going to see me again."
"We're never going to see any of us again," she said, and then was gone.
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.
(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
I can easily break this book down into three parts:
The Beginning (about 100 pages): Mostly development of characters and background story. We meet Nick "Nero", his little sister Amanda (So adorable! Loved her, even though the way she talked was hard to get used to at first, she really grew on me) his crush, Petal, and a bunch of other side characters.
While this part of the book was not particularly boring, it has no zombies. I found many of the conversations the characters had to be pretty funny, but that was really only what got me through reading this part. 100 pages with no zombies for a zombie book was pretty rough.
The Middle (about 200 pages): This is where we see the action. The outbreak begins, peoples start turning, feasting, etc., and the rest running and trying to survive (but mostly running).
I found this part of the book to be pretty exciting and very similar to zombie games like Left 4 Dead. The author makes things very detailed, and I actually liked it. This is the best part, and would have made it all worth it, except the entire outbreak only lasted about 1 day. All the action ends after just one night of surviving this so-called "zombie apocalypse". After that, (view spoiler). Besides that, we also learn some... disturbing things about Nero, including his girl-zombie fetish?
The Ending (last 100 pages): After the whole shabang is over, we learn about who was behind it all and what their plans are for the people involved (Nero and all the other side characters we meet).
This is where I got lost. I just had a hard time processing all the information that is dumped on us in this last part. Part conspiracy/Part pure madness- with, what I felt to be, nothing concrete. Even after finishing the book, I still can't recall exactly what the point of it all was. And that ending? Are you serious? Nero, do you think that gives you reason to start another zombie apocalypse?!
Overall, while this book does include zombies, it was, in my opinion, not satisfying because of both the way it began and ended. The middle was great for all those hard-core zombies fans. However, the slow zombie-free beginning and info-dump filled ending really make it hard to enjoy this book as a whole.
"Sorry," Nick said.
"Sorry," Petal said.
"Eat me," Ballou said.
"How's he doing, anyway?"
An image of the Dude arguing with the microwave rose in Nick's frontal lobe.
"Righteous. Some of the ladies made it."
The girls continued forward.
With mechanical, quivering steps.
One of them moaned.
The other gurgled.
"I am sorry, but I do not wish your phone number after all," Yelstin said.
It all comes back to the elemental question. The ontology of zombiedom. The first great and most enduring mystery: why are they all so goddamned hungry?
They went another two hundred yards, and then Nero stopped. There was an enormous boulder in the way.
"It's completely perfect."
"Way to go, Magellan."
"Ponytail knew what he was all along."
"A leg lifter."
"An asshole sniffer."
"We lost a few good men on the climb up," Idle admitted.
"What good men?" Billy said.
"Only, so we lost a few men on the climb up."
"The price of leadership is that your raw materials are chosen for you."
"I figure it's not so much being bit, you know? It's the being eaten part. The being torn apart part."
"I say we? Blow it all up and? Start over?"
"What do you mean?"
"America? Humanity? The world's a? Thinly veiled apocalypse? Already?"
On My Goodreads: