The Infection

Posted: 01/14/2012 in Books

The Infection by Craig DiLouie

I recently took advantage of Permuted Press’ “Black December” sales and picked up some of their titles at bargain prices. First up was The Infection by Craig DiLouie. The story follows a group of survivors who were lucky enough to find themselves in possession of an armored military vehicle. They soon find out that there are worse things than zombies in the world, both literally (crazy, mutating monsters!) and figuratively (they may be too traumatized to ever assimilate into an organized society!).

THE GOOD: At first glance, I found the characters to be a little cliched. There’s a standard military guy who leads the group, a geeky kid used to being picked on by jocks, a father searching for his wife and daughter, a female cop who constantly feels like she needs to prove herself, and a preacher whose faith is shaken by the apocalypse, among others. As the story went on, though, I found myself becoming attached to them. DiLouie was able to take some cliches and still make the reader care about them.

I also liked how DiLouie structured the book. It takes place post-apocalypse, but chapters are also split into flashbacks, where we see how the main characters survived the initial wave of zombies and how they ended up in the group.

THE BAD: The Infection is told primarily in third person, present tense. I found that this took a little while to get used to, and even then, seems a little cold and impersonal. Some sections just read kind of awkward. I found the flashback chapters to be much more effective.

Calling zombies the infected also seems awkward to me, especially if you leave off “the”. It’s just a pet peeve of mine, other books do it as well, probably more of a matter of opinion than a true detraction.

THE UGLIES: DiLouie puts some interesting spins on his zombies. The apocalypse started with an event referred to as The Screaming, in which a good portion of society started screaming, convulsing, and going into a coma. Three days later, all of the victims of The Screaming get up and start going all zombie on everyone’s ass. As mentioned previously, DiLouie throws in a bunch of horrific mutants, presumably just because surviving the zombie apocalypse isn’t challenging enough.

THE VERDICT: The Infection is a good read. It’s not among my very top favorites, but it is pretty entertaining and throws in enough zombie twists to make it fresh. Definitely a good value for the three bucks I paid for it on sale. At the regular eight bucks (Kindle) still a decent buy.

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