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.
What to say about The Infects? I’m kind of split on the book, to be honest. While I mostly liked it, there were definitely some things that bugged me as well. I think as far as this review goes it might be easiest to just break it up into what I liked and what I didn’t. So that’s what I’m going to do.
What I liked:
- It is a genuinely funny book. There were some parts where I actually chuckled out loud.
- The “zombie rules” that the characters follow actually reminded me a bit of Zombieland, which I love.
- I liked the idea that the characters are juvenile delinquents in the middle of the woods on an Outward Bound type of program.
- Nero seemed like a really good guy who seems to genuinely care for Petal. I liked most of the characters, even the ones who weren’t especially likeable.
- The little dossiers on the Inward Trek members at the back of the book were funny.
What I was neutral on:
- The writing style. At times it almost seemed to pass into stream of consciousness, which I am not a fan of. I didn’t outwardly dislike it, I just struggled with it initially.
- The pacing seemed uneven at times. It took me a while to get really hooked into the story because I thought it started off a little slow.
- Parts of the story weren’t all that unique or original. Of course, it’s pretty freaking hard to do original with zombies these days, so I don’t hold that too much against an author.
What I didn’t like:
- The ending. I was totally on board with the book and then it kind of lost me in the last few chapters.
- Amanda. Oh my god. Her dialogue. Everything she said ended with a question mark? Whether or not it was actually a question? Sometimes it would even stop? In the middle of sentences? It got on my nerves? I do understand that she was supposed to be autistic (at least, that’s how I took it) and this was supposed to be a symptom of her condition but it was a little much after a while.
Overall? I liked it for the most part. Again, it didn’t blow me out of the water with its originality but I think that the author accomplished what (I assume) he set out to do – write a funny book about zombies.