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Infinity (Chronicles of Nick) Hardcover – May 25, 2010
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Kenyon, whose paranormal adult novels include 50 New York Times best-sellers, brings characters from her Dark Hunter series to teens with a new YA series featuring Nick Gautier, who appears here as a 14-year-old. After arriving at school and discovering that the football team members have turned into classmate-eating zombies, Nick sets out to stop the attacks, and in one unforgettable night, he learns that he has a pivotal role to play in an unseen world. The plot serves mostly as a device to introduce a dizzying array of characters, and the prose is laden with breathless ellipses and weighty pronouncements: “Anyone could feel the unearthly power that bled from the pores of this particular . . . being.” But Kenyon keeps the supernatural action careening along, and conversational banter lightens the tone. Kenyon has ratcheted down her tone from the adult series considerably: there are no steamy sex scenes or oaths stronger than “dang,” and there is little gore. Be prepared for lots of interest in the series from young Twilight fans. Grades 7-12. --Lynn Rutan
“The imagination of Kenyon is a wonder to behold and an amazing place to visit!” ―Romantic Times (Top Pick!)
“Combines elements of all of today’s popular genres―mythology, vampires, and werewolves.” ―School Library Journal
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Okay, I was wrong and I take it all back.
Firstly, for those of you moaning about "eww, it's YA", read the dang cover! Sherri has said for MONTHS this was teen fiction, so man up and deal with it. Blame yourself for not keeping up with the DH Universe.
Secondly, the book was flipping awesome. It was PURE Sherri from cover to cover. It has everyone in the DH Universe we all know and love plus some really new and interesting characters, too. THIS is what teen fiction should be, a nonstop roller-coaster ride with unexpected curves, dips and twists that keeps you turning pages. Though it's toned down for the teen audience, don't think that Sherri compromised on wit, humor, or action. It's all there. It's the old Sherri we know from before Acheron. (Not sure what happened to the books after that, but I'll forgive her anything because Infinity flippin' rocks!)
Thirdly, the CD set is narrated by Holter Graham. HOW MUCH BETTER CAN IT GET? I haven't been this happy over a DH book SINCE Acheron. Finally, some teen fiction that has soul, character development, humor. It doesn't take itself seriously like Twilight (die already!) or Vampire Academy. Infinity blows them ALL out of the water and I feel the DH fever again.
You proved me wrong, Sherri. I'm sorry I lost faith in you, but you came through, babe. You nailed it with Infinity!
Yes, that's right. I loved this book. I just want to smother it with praise. I have never been so happy with a random book I've chosen off a shelf.
Alright, alright, I'm done fangirling. On to the actual review.
Nick Gautier is an average fourteen year old kid. Sort of. If you take away the fact that recently cannibal attacks have erupted at his school, zombies are suddenly roaming the streets by the dozen, and his best friends are chainsaw-wielding monster slayers with a few screws loose.
Even more normal when he discovers that more than half the football team are shape shifters. And the class nerd ends up turning them into the living undead.
And so, with a few demons, armed lunatics, hotrod goth chicks, and a mysterious man who looks suspiciously like Nick, they must stop the zombie apocalypse at its source. Which is sort of hard to do, when that "source" may or may not be Nick himself.
This book is full of so much win that I'm surprised it didn't explode from the sheer epicness. Seriously. I want to personally wrap this book in gold cloth and give it to everyone on the planet. Just read it.
Nick Gautier is absolutely my favorite literary protagonist ever. His sarcasm is beyond belief, along with his comebacks and jokes. He took everything in stride, and managed to be totally clueless without losing his dignity. Hell, he was just awesome. I think 65% of my love for this book was because of him.
What's even better? He sounded like a boy. Now, not to sound sexist or anything, but women authors ninety percent of the time suck at writing from a boy's perspective. Either they make the boy too flowery and romantic, or they make him stupid as chiz. Generally a combination of the two. But Nick? Nick sounded like what I imagine it would be like to be inside a really awesome boy's head. I didn't realize the author was a girl until I was halfway through the book, and I was surprised.
That's good writing right there. When the readers are shocked at the differences between you and your characters? Yah.
Also on this bloody adventure were Bubba and Mark, two of the most insane shop keepers I have ever known. Anyone who keeps a flame thrower, rocket launcher, a hundred different guns, and an ax behind their counter has to be just a little off their rocker. Or paranoid. Bubba and Mark are both, but for good reasons. Because they are the only two people in town who are fully prepared and equipped when the zombies descended.
Simi, though, had to be my favorite in this story, besides Nick. The Simi was a Goth Lolita character, which I always love, and she was epic. She taught me that even zombies can taste good with barbecue sauce. And that it's actually possible to make grammatically incorrect sentences sound cute. (I never thought it was possible)
Caleb was questionable, but he won my heart in the end just like the rest. I have no idea what his true motives are, but he seems like a good guy. I think.
Anyways, those are the main characters. There's also a few other ones, but they're not as important and not nearly as fun to write about. On to the plot.
There was not a single point in the story at which I was bored. It was never slow paced, and even when something wasn't going on, Nick's sarcastic narration made it worth reading. Also, the action was well described, so I was able to picture it in my head, rather than just re create the scene mentally using my own understandable words.
Also, there were tons of references that are fun to pick up on. It gave me a really giddy feeling everytime I understood the characters' allusions. (and if you don't get it, the context clues make it easy to know what they're talking about). There were references to video games, movies, anime, cultural terms. It added to the whole "he actually sounded like a teenage boy" thing because, let's face it: You cannot sound like a realistic teenager without alluding to lots of things. We make inside jokes, we quote things, and we listen to a lot of music and shows. It happens.
And yet the author was able to do so without sounding obnoxious. Rather than advertising things, she made it sound like it really casually came up. As if she hadn't even meant to include it. It was nice, listening to him talk about specific things without feeling like people were trying to sell me stuff.
The best part about this book, though, aside from the characters and writing---the climax. Oh my god, it was epic. With zombies and mind control and demons and flame throwers, it was by far the most fantabulous book climax I'd ever read in my entire life, next to Divergent and Unwind. I was on the edge of my seat clapping like an idiot with my eyes glued to the page. I don't think a book has ever gotten that reaction out of me (besides the ones I listed.) It was extraordinary.
I just finished listening the audio version in preparation for the new book coming out later this year. It's amazing how much funnier the dialog is out loud that it was when I read the book a few months back. And how many more inside jokes made sense. Sure, the re-read means that some of the mystery is gone -- I mostly know what everyone is -- but the humor more than makes up for it.
My 12 year old looked at the book and decided that she wasn't interested. Listening to it in the car with me this week just might have changed her mind.