Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Me on The Infects

Title: The Infects
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Candlewick Press

After an odd accident at his workplace, Nick is sent off to the wilderness with a handful of other teenage delinquents on an "Inward Trek." As if that wasn't bad enough, his counselors are now flesh-eating maniacs and have picked his fellow miscreants as their next meal. Like any classic horror movie, the survivors head off into the woods while the mindless horde of "infects" slowly follows, moaning as they go. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They know what to do. They start to generate "Zombie Rules" of their own, but attitude alone won't keep the biters back for long.

The Infects is a dark, edgy, and really gruesome quest into the larger metaphor of humanity and what lurks inside of us while characters are literally on the run from former humans who want to eat their flesh. It's a mature teenage kind of gross, graphic enough to satisfy horror fans, with a cast of quirky misfits who all have their own issues along with their own teenage hormones. Sometimes, guys can only think about the girl they like, even when a possible zombie apocalypse is staring them in the face.

Nick certainly is an odd narrator, but as a teenage guy in his situation, his voice works. He's serious and sarcastic, he's rarely happy, he rolls his eyes at his unemployed father and only cares about his younger sister who only speaks in questions. Amanda is the only one he cares about, as opposed to his teenage male hormones that care about pretty girls like Petal. He's very much an unassuming hero, pushed into the role because he has more sense and more intelligence than his fellow Inward Trek-ers. They have no goal beyond surviving, while Nick has surviving to save Petal and to make it back to Amanda.

Going in, I thought this book would be a dark comedy, a poking fun at the horror genre, but what I got instead was a horror novel dark and gross with its zombie roots in the semi-absurd/semi-it could happen one day area. There was some humour, mostly from Nick as he talked to the voice in his head, partially from his band of delinquent followers, but not as much as I expected.

The ending was very surprising, that has to be said. And I have to give props to the author because of the plot twists, I never expected some of those twists, never, and it kept me on my toes as I kept reading. While it wasn't my kind of book, I would definitely recommend it to horror movie fans and zombie fans, readers looking for smark-aleck teens who won't stop talking while a gruesome pack of zombies is chasing them down.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Candlewick Press through NetGalley.)

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