Book Review: The Infects by Sean Beaudoin

Author: Sean Beaudoin

Publisher: Candlewick

Release date: September 25, 2012

Rating: 5 stars – LOVED THIS TO PIECES!

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SYNOPSIS

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. — Goodreads

WARNING. SPOILERS MAY LIE AHEAD. TIS NOT TOO LATE TO TURN BACK.

Thrilling. Gripping. Heart-pounding. A story that will have you hooked from the beginning and an ending that will leave you speechless.

I haven’t read a zombie book since the final book in Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. I loved her twist to zombies and the romance weaved into her books, creating an epic and unforgettable series. With that said, it was going to be pretty hard to find another zombie book that I’d completely and utterly fall in love with.

But ladies and gentleman, Sean Beaudoin did it. Beaudoin creates and enticing and heart-racing novel from the very first page, not letting you go for an instant. It’s an exhilarating roller coaster ride with a jarring and surprising ending I didn’t see coming.

At first, I was wary because it was very different then what I normally read. But once I got over that fact I couldn’t put the book down until I was absolutely finished. As I was reading about Nick “Nero” I felt like I was watching everything from a camera lens; the scenes unfolding right before my eyes. Beaudoin’s writing style is unique all on it’s own and can’t be confused with anyone’s.

Not only is his writing brilliant and full of witty, dark, twisted humor – his characters are quirky and originally out of this world. The Infects exceeded all my thoughts and expectations and let’s just say, that I have probably had my last bite of KFC.

When Nick corrupts the processing at Rebozzo’s he is sentenced to a juvenile camp, Inward Trek, and given a camp name: Nero. One the way to the camp everything is all fine and dandy until horror strikes the next morning. Nero wakes up to see one of his camp counselor’s munching down on another. Things get even more freakier and bizzare when zombies appear left and right! Before Nero and his band of misfits realize it, they’ve got a full fledged Zombie-A-Pocalypse on their hands. They do what any normal human being scared for their life would do in a situation like that. Run.

Along the way, Nero gives us very detailed and insightful ZOMBRULES. For example:

ZOMBRULE #1: Always assume there’s a zombie or six in the bushes when the orchestra begins to ramp up. Because – and this is vital – you can hear the moaning and you smell the flesh, but the sound track is like GPS – weather’s it’s speed metal or Doris Day, theme music is the one sound that will never let you down.

ZOMBRULE #15: Bedtime is when bad things happen, and dream time is even worse. Drink coffee, pound Red Bulls, snort speed, tell ghost stories, poke each other with sharp sticks, staple open your eyelids, redo that sudoku, teach yourself to cobble, learn Javanese verb conjugations, memorize Deuteronomy, guzzle sixty-two hours’ worth of 5-hour ENERGY, and/or stay up till dawn playing strip poker instead. Do. Not. Go. To. Sleep.

Another thing that made this novel brilliant was Nick/Nero’s witty, insightful, and deep observations about himself and society as a whole. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I”m taking Sociology this semester or not, but I found subtle instances where Nick blatantly says Screw You to society, especially the last chapter of the novel. I liked that part very much because…well, society has done the same to us. I won’t go into much detail, but that is how I saw it. I might be very wrong…but if there is something deeper going on I believe that that was the point.

The build up to the story was pure genius! Without Nick’s story there wouldn’t be the rising action where zombie’s are unleashed and the characters have to fight for their lives to survive. Plus, the reason for why there was a “zombie” outbreak to begin with wouldn’t make sense. There were instances where Nick’s motley crew wanted to give up, but Nero quickly pulled the plug on that thought, which I admired. It was one of my favorite parts of the entire story. Nero is an unlikely hero, much like his name was during ancient Rome.

This book is just everything you would want out of a zombie story. It has plenty of blood and gore and witty dialogue. It’s thought provoking, has a dash of romance (where I was shipping Nero and Petal FTW) and heart-pounding suspense. Like I said at the beginning, I was really unsure about this book but Sean Beaudoin won me over in a heartbeat, writing a unique and creative story that left me completely unhinged and excited to read some more of his works.

Memorable quotes:

But Petal Gazes was a whole other universe, a different orbit, a brighter sun. She was a tenth straight espresso, pure feedback, wet-toe-in-socket beautiful.

Thing is, he’s right. Bleeding hearts? Liberals? The collapse of empire is always fueled by good intentions, the rubble presided over by the strict and the cold.

You can’t keep Z around like house pets. Leaving Petal down here ready to turn was bullshit. Like dangling James Bond over a shark tank and running away instead of just shooting his dumb ass. Sooner or later she gonna escaped, and I’m not getting eaten over that kind of foolishness.

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5 Comments

  1. Lakeshia Artis

     /  February 23, 2013

    Unfortunately I couldn’t read your review because it had spoilers. I do believe I have this book riding in the back of my car. LOL. I bought it at a company book sale. I will have to get it out of the car and read it. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Allie

     /  March 27, 2013

    I just never understood why Amanda spoke in choppy questions..

    Reply
    • She has some sort of mental illness….at least, that is what I gathered from her behavior and speech.

      Reply

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