Happy Saturday! Welcome back to another exciting day of Something Wicked Comes! Here are today's stops:
Blu@ Not Now...Mommy's Reading:Intricate Entanglement by Su Halfwerk
Aditi@Highly Readioactive:Maggie Shayne: Mark of the Witch
Be sure to visit these posts and enter their giveaways!
Zombies! Why are we so fascinated with them? Is it because we like to see what humanity would look like when all reason is stripped away and we are nothing but shambling creatures driven by a basic need? Is it that we like to imagine what we would do in the same situations? Or is it we just like to be terrified? Whatever the reason, zombies are more popular than ever as zombie books and movies continue to roll out. Today, I am going to introduce you to Sean Beaudoin, a fellow North-westerner and the author of The Infects, a unique and surprising zombie tale. I have Sean here, wait scratch that, Norm the zombie here to share with you what it's like to be a zombie! But first, here is a little more on Sean:
8% of the letters in Sean Beaudoin’s name are vowels. In ASCII binary code, his name is 01010011 01100101 01100001 01101110 00100000 01000010 01100101 01100001 01110101 01100100 01101111 01101001 01101110 Backwards, it’s Naes Nioduaeb. In Pig Latin, it’s Eansay Eaudoinbay. Which is helpful, since no one can pronounce it with the legal spelling, either. Sean Beaudoin has used his B.A. in film/photography as a springboard into the following jobs: construction laborer, circus roustabout, busboy, used book buyer, hotel desk clerk, outdoor education counselor, statue repairman (really), seller of jazz vinyl, and a nine-day stint as The World’s Worst Telemarketer. He’s had stories and articles appear in numerous publications, including; the Onion, The New Orleans Review, Glimmer Train, Narrative, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Rumpus, Opium, Barrelhouse, Redivider, Bayou, Another Chicago Magazine, Bat City Review, Swill, Instant City, Ballyhoo, Identity Theory, Heliotrope, Danger City, and Spirit—the inflight magazine of Southwest Airlines. He is also a regular contributor at The Nervous Breakdown.com.Sean Beaudoin likes to list his publishing history in the third person, as if someone else—a pimply young assistant, for instance—were writing it for him. He loves blueberries, garlic, hot sauce, bagels, almonds, and Turkish coffee. He hates the phrase "It is what it is." When people say "It is what it is," he snaps back, in a much deeper voice than necessary, "NO, IT ISN’T!" When they look at him quizzically and say "Excuse me?", Sean yells "DON’T EVEN GO THERE, GIRLFRIEND!" He also likes old vinyl and French movies and books about unhappy people from the Fifties. He’s not particularly crazy about police procedurals, ketchup, rap-metal, Shia "The Bouf" LaBeouf, cell phones, or Escalades. Unless Cadillac wants to sign him to a highly lucrative endorsement deal, in which case he loves Escalades.
Here is Norm, a.k.a. Sean:
Hi, I’m Norm. I’m a character in the book The Infects. Yeah, don’t bother searching for me
in the index, since no one bothered to actually give me a name on the page. Which is total discrimination. Mostly because I’m a zombie. That’s right, a slavering, shambling, flesh-gorging revenant. I spend a majority of the book sort of drooling in the background, following the main characters around and watching them soak up all the glory. No one ever wants to know what’s going on with ol’ Norm. No one wants to ask me how I feel, or if I’m hungry, or if I’m cold. Man, it would be nice, even once, if someone said, “Hey Norm, you want a blanket?” or “Hey, Norm, it looks like your jaw is sort of falling off its hinges. Want me to re-adjust that for you?” No, of course not. That would be too much to ask.
But I don’t want to just sit on my rotting butt and complain. Listen, fine, it’s a reasonably amusing book, and half the reason I kept shuffling along was because I wanted to see what happened at the end. I guess it was cool to be invited at all, you know? But I’m just stuck with the feeling it could have been so much cooler. Like, why didn’t I get to fire the shotgun? Why didn’t I get to have a love scene? I’m totally capable of loving! Go ahead and hand me a puppy. No, I’m serious. Or a kitten. I’ll totally show you how loving I can….oh, never mind.
The truth is, I guess I deserved what I got. I was working my usual shift over at Danny’s Record Hut when this cute little Goth girl came in. She was sort of groaning and her eyes were unfocused and deep down I knew what she was, but I was sort of hoping she was following me around the aisles because she thought I looked really great in my new hoodie. You know, like maybe she wanted to get a milkshake and talk for a while and then we’d go to a Black Keys show together? But no. She didn’t want any of those things. She just opened that cute little Goth mouth and took a chunk out of ol’ Norm’s wrist. Ouch! And here’s how colossally dumb I am--even when she was standing there, blood dripping from her lips down onto her skinny jeans, I was thinking “No problem. So what if we got off to a bad start? There’s still got to be a way to work this whole thing out.” Duh. Suddenly I got a really bad headache. Things turned all grey and there was a buzzing in my ears and I started to sweat. I closed my eyes and next thing you know I’m frothing and moaning like the rest of them, chasing some chubby little sweat suit full of lunch across a playground. How did I even get there? And why was my hair such a total mess? Well, I won’t bore you with how that all ended.
Bottom line, here’s the thing. This zombie deal? I’m not all that into it. The moaning. The menacing. The dragging my back foot around behind me with my arms out like I’m carrying wet towels. It’s all such a cliché. A caricature. I mean, who says zombies don’t ride Vespas? Or take taxis? Or get invited to fern parties with great appetizers and delicate wines and have smart, sophisticated conversations about poetry and Eastern European politics?
You know what you should totally do to get him back for me? Instead of the six (6) copies of the book you were planning to buy, only get two. That’ll show him for not at least letting me attack some tourists at the mall!
Here is the trailer:
Love it! Thanks Sean! Be sure to find out more about Sean and his book on his website, Facebook, twitter and Goodreads. Now that you are all intrigued how would you like a chance to win a copy of The Infects? Sean is offering up a copy to one lucky winner. Please challenge yourself and read the Contest Policies and then fill out the Rafflecopter for your chance to win. This giveaway is for U.S. residents only. A big thanks to Sean for his post and giveaway!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
The Infects by Sean Beaudoin
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.Hardcover, 384 pages Published September 25th 2012 Candlewick Press.
Three and a half stars: A zombie book with some big surprises!
Nick heads out to work ready to endure another monotonous day at the chicken processing plant. Today, though, there is a surprise in store: he gets a promotion and a pay raise. He is now the special butcher for the new line of chicken products. Perhaps now he will finally have the guts to talk to Petal Gazes, the girl he has a major crush on, or not. Unfortunately, for Nick the monotonous line of chickens on the belt and the endless work cause him to lose focus and he accidentally slices open his hand. Blood gushes out from the deep wound, but he is too afraid to pull the emergency button. The chickens fall to the floor and blood splatters.....The next thing we know, Nick is charged and prosecuted with destroying thousands of dollars worth of poultry. His punishment is a three month stint in a wilderness adventure camp with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents. Three months isn't so bad, that is until the campers wake up to find their counselors munching on human flesh. A zombie plague is upon them! Nick and the others battle for their lives........Surrounded by zombies the survivors wonder if it might just be better to let a zombie nibble on your hand and end it all........
What I Liked:
- This is a zombie book that at first plays out like a typical zombie infestation. People going about their normal lives until the day they wake up and find all hell breaking loose as friends, neighbors, co workers, family, etc. are now the walking dead with a need to eat flesh. So admittedly, I was a bit bored with the familiar story line, one where a cast of characters fights to survive and one by one they are picked off as the zombie hoard multiplies. I was thrilled when I reached the three quarters mark of the book and hit the twists and then the story took on a whole new life. I loved the ending and that the author provided explanations for the infection and added some unique and thrilling aspects that I was not expecting. If you are wanting a zombie read that is different check this one out, keeping in mind that the good stuff is further toward the end.
- I enjoyed the author's unique sense of humor. This book is full of snark and it has lots of off the wall humor, which is hard to describe unless you read it. If you like books that beat to a different drum, you will like this one. There is quite a bit of crude jokes, considering that the majority of the book revolves around a band of teenage boys. I also appreciated all the weird inclusions, such as: police reports, chicken menus, lists, flashbacks, etc.
- This book has some memorable characters. I personally enjoyed Nick's father, The Dude, he is a out of work hippie reminiscent of The Dude in The Big Lebowski, and he totally made me laugh. I also really liked Amanda, Nick's younger sister who supposedly has Aspergers. Amanda at nine years old, spends hours endlessly playing shoot 'em up video games. She has a few surprises up her sleeve. Finally, Nick, a.k.a. Nero, the unlikely hero. He is a quiet, somewhat shy nerdy kid who channels the Rock in his head. He is one of those unassuming guys that you can't help but to root for.
- I appreciated that this book was not overly gory and gross. Yes, of course, there are plenty of zombie munching scenes but the blood and guts descriptions are not too horrific so If you are a bit on the squeamish side you will be okay. If you are looking for a book packed with blood and guts, you might be a bit disappointed. For me, it was the right amount.
And The Not So Much:
- This is not a smooth read. At times, it is a bit disjointed and I was puzzled as to why I kept reading about chickens and all of the other extraneous stuff that seemed to have nothing to do with the main plot. At least, the numerous flashbacks are labeled so you know you are reading a flashback. The story flow is choppy, but I was pleased that three quarters of the way through that everything starting snapping in place and making sense, but up until that point the book was a bit confusing at times.
- I never felt like I had a good grip on all the supporting cast. Nick spends the majority of the book with this band of juvenile delinquents, but I didn't feel like they were well developed and I had trouble keeping them all straight. At the end, there is a bunch of added in police reports that go over the details of each boy's arrest. Perhaps it would have been better to interject them sooner so I had a better idea of the characters. The Dude was by far my favorite secondary character and I was disappointed that he didn't have a bigger role. He certainly added some flair to the story.
- I was a bit bored through the middle sections of the book as it fell into a well worn, familiar zombie story: people fighting for their lives and then they fall one by one to the zombies. Even the author jests at this typical plot as numerous times the characters refer to what happens if you are in a zombie movie, but it pays off and the ending was worth the wait!
The Infects provides something a bit different in the zombie genre. While the zombie infestation and attacks are a bit trite, the final revelations and the explanations behind the plague are new and unexpected. I was thrilled to discover an ending with some big surprising twists. If you are a fan of zombie books, I suggest you give this one a try. The Infects with its unique humor will make you laugh and give you some new ideas to consider regarding zombies.
"Except that she was also wearing the kind of two-toned blood mask you could only get from burying your face deeply into another person, a demarcation line just below the eyes, the spot where teeth could reach no further."
"Nick Sole, texturbating. Pathetic."
"Nick felt unusually suave his antibacterial slippers and hairnet, sporting the same Guns N' Roses T-shirt for God knows how many shifts, Axl smelling even worse than he probably did in person."
"There is no cool in Zomb-A Pocalypse," Yeltsin said. "There is only survival, or to be an appetizer."
"That sounds of frustration and hunger from outside were muted, the highs and lows cut out, resulting in a steady middle of want. Which somehow made it even worse."
"He looked like a guy who wanted to kick sand in your face and then kick you in the face for swallowing sand."
"Splitting up is just a cheap way to kill off the secondary cast, and I am totally part of the first cast."
"The price of leadership is that your raw materials are chosen for you."
"Things to Trust: Your gun. A dead bolt. A wrench. A strong piece of rope. The flammability of a can of diesel. The edibility of a can of tuna. Bass knuckles. A survival knife. Things Not to Trust: Everything and everyone else."
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for and honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
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