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Hater: A Novel (Hater series) Paperback – April 13, 2010
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Soon to be a major motion pictureâproduced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by J.A. Bayona
REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened 'Haters' by the media, the attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled peopleÂ becomeÂ frenzied, vicious killers. There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, then hundreds of thousands. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a Hater. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them withÂ ultra violentÂ intent.Â Â Waking up each morning, no matter how well defended,Â everyone must now consider the fact that by the end of the day, they might be dead.Â Or perhaps worse,Â become aÂ killer themselves.Â As the status quo shifts, ATTACK FIRST,Â ASK QUESTIONS LATERÂ becomes the order of the day...Â Â only, the answers might beÂ much differentÂ than whatÂ you expect....
In the tradition of H. G. Wells and Richard Matheson, Hater is one manâs story of his place in a world gone madâ a world infected with fear, violence, and HATE.
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Essentially Hater is the story of one average guy, Danny, who has a job he hates and lives in a flat on a dodgy council estate with his partner and three children. As a series of seemingly random attacks take place in the city where he lives and works, he takes the step of barricading his family in their flat for their safety, only venturing out reluctantly in search of supplies.
The tension builds slowly, and the first half of the book is full of flash scenes of the virus attacking at random, which I love in any apocalyptic book and in Hater it's pretty confronting - school girls, policemen, the elderly - no one is immune to the random impact of the virus. The Haters themselves are initially uncontrollable, but after the initial outburst become more subdued and cannot be easily distinguished from other non-infected people.
I really liked that Hater is about an average guy - he's certainly no hero, and as the story progresses, his family become increasingly paranoid even of each other - snapped words and sharp looks caused by living in such a stressful environment begin to push them closer to turning on each other.
Hater is an addictive read and certainly has the one-more-chapter feel, right up until the twist and climax which went in a direction that I certainly wasn't expecting. It's fabulously unpredictable and I'd love to tell you more about it, but it's difficult without giving important parts of the story away.
My only reason for not giving it a full five star rating is that the characters can be a little unlikable and there are a few periods of what I can only call repetitive whinging. But otherwise Hater is an intense and extremely tense read, and David Moody holds absolutely nothing back.
HATER begins as most apocalypses do--before it begins. Our main character, Daniel, is a government worker who hates his job, hates his position in life and is constantly having to deal with his oftentimes-overbearing children. He and his wife's relationship is suffering, his relationship with his father-in-law in less-than-stellar, and his overall quality of life is suffering due to his living situation. A house too small, a job too mundane, and a family almost in constant turmoil serves to make life one thing--misery.
However--when a calamity strikes the world, thrusts the populace head-over-heels and creates a violent strain of violent outbreaks that may or may not be disease-related, Daniel, and his family's, world changes--for the worse.
HATER is everything that anyone could ever want in an apocalypse novel. Fast-paced, intense, visceral--there's no lack of violence and tension in this book. It moves at a breakneck pace that makes it almost impossible to put down. I found myself glued to my seat (while at the airport) and transfixed (while reading before bed) at the brutal world that David Moody created in HATER. The speed of which the novel moves is, in my opinion, probably the best thing about it. Unlike a lot of apocalypse novels, which slow to a low lull in order to introduce certain aspects of the apocalyptic scenario, HATER never stops. The world, and the condition it is in, is quickly revealed in a rapid-fire succession, making the book constantly exciting and engrossing. My only qualm about the book is more of a personal one than one that stabs at Mr. Moody's writing. There comes a point in the novel where we are introduced to a Hater's psychology, and though the transformation from one who's Hated into a Hater seems to be a quick and sudden process, the act in which it happens is never really explained. As someone who loves reading about that sort of transformation, I would have loved to see that expanded upon. That still may happen in book 2 and 3 though, so I'm not going to discount it as a possibility.
In a nutshell, HATER is brilliant. Fast-paced, utterly-engrossing, absolutely-terrifying--this book is impossible to put down. A definite to-read for any apocalyptic fiction fan.