03 January 2014

Book Review: The Infects by Sean Beaudoin

Goodreads description (x):
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.

My rating: 5 out of 5 hoots

Horror is very significant to me for many reasons; it thrills me without me actually having to move, it symbolizes many different stages in my life, certain films and books make me think of specific people, and to be honest, I guess I just innately love it. I realize how strange this sounds, but bear with me. 

On the other side of that card is comedy--another genre I grew up loving (who doesn't?) for practically the same reasons and then some. 

When I bought The Infects, I honestly thought it was going to be just a horror novel. And when I say "just" a horror novel, I mean I thought yeah, I will probably get the pants scared off of me. I hope. 

What happened was so much more than that--it blossomed into a horror-comedy. And I cannot explain how happy I am to have found this book, read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Because what's better than a horror or a comedy? Let me answer that. A horror-comedy. 

First things first, I have to let you in on a secret. 
This book actually took me a long time to read BUT not because of anything the book did wrong--it was due to all of Christmas mayhem shopping and everything else I had to attend to. The good thing about reading this book over the holidays was that while waiting in the car for my mom to pick something up for the pharmacy or something another, I could be found reading this book, constantly laughing. And that was probably not even halfway through it. So it was a great stress-reliever. 

What was nice was how the author, Sean Beaudoin, takes your hand and guides you along, step by baby step, up to the action. (Except for the beginning, which was jarring and scary. Trust me, though, keep reading.) This is a great way to wiggle yourself into the life of the main character, Nick/Nero; his dreadlocked dad, The Dude; and his younger sister, Amanda, who plays video games madly, intensely, like a boss. 

I was taken aback by the sweet relationship between Nick and Amanda. Amanda's character displayed what the book titled Asperger's, and I was glad to see a strong character with this definition. I also loved the unique way Amanda spoke--I could hear her voice in my head stronger than any of the other characters. OK, maybe not as much as one in particular with a very heavy accent...but you'll figure that guy out and love him (or hate him) if you read the book.

You'll also be introduced to my favorite character of the entire book, especially if you're anywhere near Nick: The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson aka "Can you smeeeelllllll...." Yep, that's what this kid (Nick) has to hear in his head every day--the voice of The Rock. It's actually pretty great if you ask me, but I'll understand if you don't feel the same way. Just know, you'll be laughing uncontrollably at the little remarks The Rock makes to Nick as they quarrel back and forth. But then you'll be grateful. And maybe even tearful. 

Beaudoin's play on words and...just beautiful placement of words really made for a nice read. This isn't just your half-assed written horror-comedy, this is a book written by someone who knows where certain words should go and why they should go there. 

There's also gore. Lots and lots of gore. But what would you expect from a book about zombies? Or, should I say, infects. I won't give away everything, but look at what's nestled in the skull in the image above. Weird, right? Right. There's a reason for that. 

At the end, I was a little...shell-shocked. I was almost expecting a sequel, but the ending came at me like an unseen enemy. I didn't like what happened, but I accepted it. It wasn't your typical ending, so that was a nice change, at least. And the best part was seeing the juvenile delinquents' police reports immediately after the ending of the book as well as a Q&A session with a "doctor of necrotic studies."

I know you're tired of me raving about this book by now, so shuffle over like a zombie to your nearest shelter and grab The Infects!!  

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