Monday, August 6, 2012

One Big Paranormal Motley Crew!

Infinity: Chronicles of Nick
Life is hard for any teenager. But if your father is an evil, sadistic jerk serving time and your mom is a stripper, life is downright miserable. In the first book of The Chronicles of Nick, Infinity, Sherrilyn Kenyon tells the story of a normal boy who is anything but normal.

Nick lives among thug football players, crazy voodoo hunters, and some real New Orleans characters, but he just can't seem to stay out of trouble. His mother tells him on a daily basis how hard she works to take care of him, and he wants nothing more than to make her happy, but things around him always fall apart. When another football jerk taunts him into reacting (by mentioning his mother's profession, of course), he gets suspended from school. What he didn't realize was he was safer being out of school than in it that week. 

When one football player attacks another and tries to eat him, people start to wonder what on earth they have been doing. When a whole rash of "zombies" start running around trying to kill people, they start to get worried. In New Orleans, of course, nothing surprises people. When the "zombies" (who aren't really zombies, but just kids who are under a voodoo trance) get out of hand, it's crazy Bubba and his clan who know exactly what to do. What Nick doesn't know, though, is everyone around him, including his classmates and his new employer, are not what they seem. But can all these paranormal beings stop brainwashed zombies from trying to eat their way through the city?

OK. So there was every kind of paranormal creature stuffed into one book. Sometimes that is fun, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. In this book, I teetered on the edge of both sentiments. I found myself confused sometimes and others I had to laugh at how everyone just accepted werewolves and shapeshifters as something they figured existed anyway, and just hadn't seen for themselves yet. Sometimes, the addition of yet another paranormal creature made the story feel a little anticlimactic. I asked myself, "Really? No one thinks this is strange?" Maybe that is just the interpretation of the New Orleans culture coming through in this story, but it struck me as odd. 

Another struggle I had with this story is all the added angles flying in and out of the story. Sometimes there was so much going on it seemed confusing, especially when a new angle (like Nick's dad) was introduced, but never fully developed or explained. Since this is an ongoing series, I assume those things are being addressed later, but it makes the first book more difficult to digest at this point. Other than that, this was a fun book. I think the maturity level and reading level make it a decent middler reader book for your older middle school students through less mature young adult readers. I am anxious to read the next book in order to find a little resolution for my many many questions. At least I hope there is a little resolution!

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