Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ARC Review: The Infects by Sean Beaudoin

Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Publication Date:  September 25th, 2012

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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

FINALLY!  A real, true, blood-and-gore, zombie book!  The zombies are actually the ones of lore!  You know?  The shambling, mindless, human flesh-eating, living-dead?  You know?  You get bitten and you become one?  As a firm and unwavering member of Team Zombie, I have to say that this book rocked!  It is all of the aforementioned, but it is also SO much more!  Where do I even start?  How about with my favorite part of The Infects... 
  • Characters:  This book had some really awesome ones!  Actually, there are too many great ones to detail in this review, but I will touch on my absolute favorites... First, there is Nick/Nero.  This dude rules.  He is a reluctant hero; a guy who is SO much cooler than he thinks he is.  He is smart, funny, and quick on the uptake, but the best part of Nick/Nero is the voice inside his head.  It's The Rock, people!  You know, Dwayne Johnson, the hot-stuff wrestler-turned-actor?  And he was funny!  Then, of course, there were the other Inward Trek guys; they had nicknames like Heavy D, Idle and Billy, Estrada, and Tripper, just to name a few.  Each one had his own gigantic personality, often providing comic relief, or at the very least, a victim for the zombies to dine on.  Add to the guys, a camp of Inward Trek girls with similarly sized personalities, and you have a recipe for some seriously awesome banter to go along with the flesh eating.  I also loved Nick/Nero's little sister Amanda, who has Asperger's and is a kick-ass video game savant.  She added an element of humanity to the story, and although it wasn't necessarily needed, it was a nice touch.  Then there was the book's antagonist, Win Fuld.  He's the type of guy you love to hate!  The author's description of him made my stomach turn, he was so repulsive, but in a fun way! :-)
  • The World:  What better place to fight zombies than in a mountain wilderness.  There are plenty of dark places for the undead to hide, and very few other people for them to eat.  A bunch of kids on a character building trek?  Perfect targets.  And what if they happen to stumble upon a ridiculous hunting lodge at the top of the mountain, and it were full of girls?  Bonus!  The world was great.  A perfect setting for this story!
  • The Plot:  Evil corporations? Check.  Zombies created from fast-food?  Check.  Government/Corporate cover-ups?  Check.  Zombie/human romantic arc?  Check.  Witty humor?  Check.  Blood, guts, and gore?  Check.  This story was great.  Not only did it have great plot points and fantastic pacing, but it had so many laughs.  The chapter names were fantastic, as were the nicknames.  There were also many extras that enhanced the story like the obvious, yet still fun to read, "Zombrules" scattered throughout,  the police incident reports pertaining to most of the Inward Trek guys, a Fresh Bukket takeout menu, and my favorite, the interview with a zombie expert at the end of the book.  This is a story made up of lots of little things, assembled in a way that makes for a really awesome ride!
Overall, I have to highly recommend this book to anyone who likes zombie books.  Even if you aren't on Team Zombie, if you like to laugh, and enjoy subtle humor and/or pop-culture references, you should give this one a go.  As I closed this book, I had an intense feeling of satisfaction that I rarely have upon finishing a book.  I have to put this up there as one of my biggest "Surprise! I'm an awesome book!" books of 2012.  Bravo, Sean Beaudoin!  I am looking forward to reading more of what you have to offer!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  This book is very graphically violent (duh!).  There is also a bit of profanity, many lewd remarks, and references to sexual acts and encounters.  I would say this book is best for grades 8 and up (ages 13+), and generally speaking, would appeal more to boys than girls. 

**Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for a SIGNED copy of Lauren Oliver's fabulous new book, THE SPINDLERS! Click HERE to enter! US/CAN. Ends 10/20/2012.**


  1. The supporting characters were SO MEMORABLE. I loved all the supplemental material, too. The book was definitely entertaining. :)

  2. This sounds so interesting! I haven't heard of this book before, so thanks for sharing this with us :)

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

  3. I just saw a post about how this cover was made! (Very cool.) And I'm right with you on Team Zombie! =D

  4. Thank you for the review. This sounds like an ideal book for my son for Christmas.


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