The Junkie Quatrain

Posted: 01/12/2013 in Books
Tags: ,

The Junkie Quatrain by Peter Clines

Junkie Quatrain

I usually don’t read books if they have a word in the title that I don’t know the meaning of (it doesn’t come up too often in zombie fiction). However, Peter Clines has won my trust with his fantastic super hero/zombie novels, Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots.  (Note:  Quatrain is a spanish word, meaning “a whale’s vagina”)

The JQ is a set of four short stories that all take place in relatively the same time and space and intertwine in some way. They were all originally bonus material for those who ordered a Permuted Press audiobook when they first made their deal with Audible.com. Each short story came with one of the featured audiobooks.

The stories take place mid-apocalypse, as society crumbles in the face of a new disease that leaves its victims crazy, vicious, and infectious. In the shorts, we’re introduced to a rugged female survivor, a band of opportunistic scavengers, a scientist searching for a cure, and a cold-blooded killer.

THE GOOD: Each story is really well-crafted and even in a short span of time each character is carefully developed. Clines has become the cornerstone of the Permuted Press brand and with good reason. The man’s got skill.

THE BAD: Since each story was designed to stand on its own, the overall novel is left feeling a bit unfinished as a whole. There’s no true resolution, as it probably would have had if it were a stand alone novel. I was left feeling like I wanted a little bit more, which I suppose could be viewed as a good thing.

THE ZOMBIES: The JQ features an interesting breed of zombies. They’re infected, not undead. At first the infected don’t exhibit violent, flesh-eating tendencies, but rather lowered inhibitions, which can lead to spreading the infection through sexual contact. When full-blown, the infected become more crazed and hungry. They eat flesh, but can die as easily as regular humans. Threat Level: 7

VERDICT: The JQ is a short but sweet series of apocalyptic zombie tales. Each story is good on its own, but reading them all gives the reader a cool look at all of the angles. I’d recommend this to any zombie fan, just don’t expect it to last you more than a few sittings. Grade: B+

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