Top critical review
Different take on Zombies, dislikeable main characters, worth a read.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 9, 2013
I wasn't sure what to make of this book as the main character, Benny, is written as one of those self-entitled bratty teenagers who "save the world" or who is portrayed as going to save the world. This is why I tend to avoid most "young adult" books as I can't stand the "Look at this teenager who knows more, is better, sees everything as it is moreso than people who are older" books.
I, sadly, didn't make too many notes while reading this, but the one big note I had, for example was 80% into it and it was "This book is pretty decent so far. However, the character of Nix is awful. She's mean, immature, illogical and i hope she dies a painful death. Seriously, i hate this character and i don't think we, the, reader, are supposed to dislike her. I think she is badly written."
Seriously, i really hated that character and I still dislike her and we ARE supposed to like her, perhaps even feel bad for her, but I did not and won't. I think she is a heartless little brat who only thinks of herself.
Once you get past that aspect of the book, it actually is enjoyable enough. Its a story about a kid who is angry at his brother and doesn't want to do some menial job in the post-apocalyptic world that he lives in, but also doesn't want to put in any hard work. He doesn't want to understand his older brother as he can't forgive him for, what Benny sees, as past sins he can't atone for.
This aspect of the book irritated me as it was rather unrealistic. I'm sorry, if you are stuck living with someone for 10+ years, you most likely will have had discussions with said person. You can't live with someone and not have ANY conversation with someone about their work, lifestyle, theories on life, etc.
Back to the point...story about brothers and about the meaning of hero worship and reality, set into a post-apocalyptic world with zombies.
Since it's been a few weeks, looking back, there isn't too much that I "enjoyed" about this book except the older brother, Tom, whom I wished was flushed out a bit more as he was better written and not one-dimensional. It has a great premise and I like the different take on zombies that the book tries to impart on its reader. Without major spoilers, seeing zombies as being damaged humans that were once family/friends, is an interesting way of viewing things.
I believe that is the main saving grace on why I liked this book. If it were focused all on Nix and Benny, I would have probably closed the book and never thought about it again. I would have written it off as another crappy "angry/snarky teenagers save the world" book, but instead I can view it as "annoying teenagers living in a post-apocalyptic world coming to terms with having to change their perspective about the world and their place in it and maybe the good guys aren't good guys and the bad guys aren't so bad"
I rambled a bit here, but this book is worth a read if you like zombie book sand Jonathan Maberry is a good writer.
I gave it originally a four star rating, but in retrospect, this is more of a three star, not awful, not fantastic, but worth checking out.