- Series: Hater series (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First edition (June 8, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312532881
- ISBN-13: 978-0312532888
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dog Blood: A Novel (Hater series) Hardcover – May 10, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Gory and relentlessly tense, this sequel to Moody's neo-zombie thriller, Hater, maintains the innovative tautness that landed that self-published e-book on Guillermo del Toro's film production slate, but suffers from middle-child status. The second book in a proposed trilogy, it follows its predecessor's narrator, Danny McCoyne, now a "Hater," one of the growing portion of humanity consumed with destroying the "Unchanged." Danny's quest to find his Hater daughter drives much of the book's action, but is problematic as a focal point. While it's fascinating to observe the mind of a Hater like Danny, it's also hard to invest in the emotions of a monster, especially one whose descriptions of killing are so thoroughly, gruesomely chronicled. The Unchanged interludes, featuring characters like the pathetic Mark Tillotsen-who, along with his family and hoards of others, huddles in a city under siege-offer little relief or distraction. With both build-up and conclusion of this tale confined to separate volumes, Dog Blood's tension feels turgid, despite all the action, at times tipping the tone from thrilling to unpleasant and crying out for the release of what one hopes is a soon-to-follow sequel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
David Moody is the author of Hater, Autumn and Autumn: The City. He grew up in Birmingham, England, on a diet of horror movies and post-apocalyptic fiction. He started his career working at a bank, but then decided to write the kind of fiction he loved. His first novel, Straight to You, had what Moody calls "microscopic sales," and so when he wrote Autumn, he decided to publish it online. The book became a sensation and has been downloaded by half a million readers. He started his own publishing company, Infected Books. He lives in Britain with his wife and a houseful of daughters, which may explain his preoccupation with Armageddon.
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***Slight Spoiling of Dog Blood ahead and assumed knowledge of Hater***
In Hater we really got to know Danny, our protagonist, as a person. We didn't spend too much time with him after his transition. Instead, we still held Danny as he was in our minds with this "new-zombie" overlay near the end. It was tight, sharp and infinitely pleasurable to read that book.
Following up with Danny in Dog Blood, we have lost our connection with him somewhat. When introduced to Hating in the first book, we understood he was compelled to do it and felt no real guilt over it, but we sensed his inherent conflict with it as a new condition. In Dog Blood we find someone who enjoys gory killing, seeks it out and feels complete only when doing it. Our Danny is lost and I find it difficult to ferret out if that loss is a purposeful story driver or if it is simply a lack in the writing itself.
There is so much less in terms of understandable internal dialog and sentient thought that I was slightly disappointed. One thing Hater had that no other book in the genre ever did was a thinking and complicated person at the center. Throughout Hater one never lost the connection with Danny, regardless of their status as human or Hater.
In Dog Blood, Danny has but two real trains of thought and those are to kill and find more people to kill and to find his daughter because he loves and wants to take care of her. For some reason this just doesn't work out like I think it was intended to. There are too many gaps in that. How can a person who no longer thinks about bathing, caring for their own wounds, sex, companionship or even the death of close compatriots be concerned with "caring for" a child? This new Danny tromps through horrible weather in rags and occassionally eats whatever is laying about. Yet he is intent upon finding his daughter and keeping her safe between bouts of killing. It just rings false somewhere. Keep her safe from what? Living like he does?
In short, our Danny no longer has the sense to come out of the rain but he is concerned that his daughter is in it. Those two thoughts don't go together.
Danny goes on to a tantalizing dilemna that may give us a hint of things to come. Is he slowing becoming cured? Is he a new and more moderate Hater? And what, exactly, is his daughter? All these little things add up to the best parts of the story and are tiny bread crumbs for the final installment.
***Super spoiling ahead in my final words, so be forewarned!***
I do have questions that just keep resonating. I suppose that may be contributing to this slight feeling of dissatisfaction with the book. The Haters all seem to have the ability to think, aside from the Brutes, and clearly understand consequences and logical trains of thought. So how can they not understand they are doomed? If all their children are unmanageable psychotics who show absolutely no sense of self and seek to simply tear apart humans, how can they hope to continue? They can't be dressed, fed, have their injuries tended to and do, as we saw, tear themselves and other Haters up to get to any humans. How can you teach a child who is only quiet when there are no humans in a mile radius? And even then they are simply silent and unresponsive. How can you teach them to even wash their cuts or make a nest of tree branches? If the Haters win, humanity is absolutely doomed because the only reason the adult Haters know anything is because there were once human. The children know nothing and never will. Is that perhaps what he is going toward? Will this turn out to be the way nature finally destroys humanity, by ensuring it can't survive as Haters after the rest of the humans are gone?
I did like this book but I didn't love it like I did Haters. This one I had no problem putting down to do other things while it would have been unthinkable to do so during my first or second read of Hater. Definitely recommend it in order to maintain continuity for the final book, but don't expect the same level of satisfaction that Hater brought.
The book itself is a fun read but about 3/4 in Moody goes wild with exageration SPOILER ALERT--------------The haters are people who hate and want to kill but they dont have super human powers, they have uninhibited strength and are not afraid of dying, the last 100 pages Moody changes this for some reason and his daughter has the strength of 10 men and she is 5 years old-HUH? END SPOILER ALERT-----------this ending detracts from the rest of the book and brings what should be 5 stars to 3, I will still read the next installment but with more sobriety