Thursday, December 20, 2012
Not Totally Infectious
It's bad enough to be labeled a juvenile delinquent over an accident and sent to a wilderness program with other criminals, but watching everyone around you turn into flesh eating zombies just makes it that much worse. In Sean Beaudoin's Infects, Nero is trapped in his own worst nightmare... but at least there is a cute girl there too!
Nick Soul couldn't have imagined a freak accident on the chicken "disassembly" line would have him labeled an ecoterrorist or a criminal, but then again there isn't much in his life that goes his way. As he is on his way to the wilderness program that is supposed to "straighten him out", he realizes there are worse things in this world than the genocide of chickens that happens everyday in the chicken factory. Once he chooses his wilderness name, Nero, he is immersed into a ride that no one world have expected.
Not 24 hours in the woods and Nero wakes up to a sight he can't believe is real despite looking at it with his own two eyes: one of his counselors is bent over the other counselor... eating him. It is that very moment that all hell breaks loose. The few other delinquents who aren't crazy cannibals take off with Nero headed away from the campsite- they don't know where they plan to go, but they know they can't stay there! On the way, the boys encounter all manner of zombies, but what is even scarier than their desire for human flesh is the fact that they seem able to think, reason, and solve problems. Those are never good qualities to find in a zombie. You never want a zombie to be smart enough to find even more ways to eat you. If life wasn't hell for Nick before he became Nero, its about to be worse than any hell he could imagine.
Well, I think it is important to know that this zombie novel isn't really your classic zombie novel. It is more like "Shawn of the Dead" in novel form, a farce, a spoof, if you will. I thought it was a real zombie novel, so when I delved in and started to notice some quirks and odd characters, I became suspicious. By the end it was clear this was a goofy book playing off the subgenre. That isn't to say it isn't funny, because it is, but if you were looking for a real zombie novel, try Jonathan Maberry's Rot and Ruin series.
That being said, this was a pretty entertaining, albeit goofy, book. The descriptions and dialogue will leave you chuckling, and even the zombies themselves are ridiculous (even with gory bits of human gristle hanging out of their mouths). Even though the story is funny, it is also pretty bloody. I would suggest this book for those students who like a good horror movie but have a sarcastic streak. Those are the kids who will appreciate this story the most. While it wasn't my favorite book, this story gave me a few chuckles and definitely has a niche audience. I can see myself passing it off to my older students (some pretty vulgar language on top of gore and sexual content). But, it would definitely have to be the exactly perfect audience for this story to work for one of my students.