In the end, it’s really not that surprising. In fact, it may almost be inevitable. I really think the fast food giants plan it that way. Just by reading the words ‘fast food’ you’re probably already thinking about stopping and picking up your favorite sandwich, french fry, or frozen treat. See? You may already be in trouble. Well go ahead and indulge, I dare you, but you might think twice about what that food is doing to your body after reading about the (mis)adventures of 17-year-old Nick “Nero” Sole.
"Like all good books, it’s the little things that matter, and Beaudoin inserts zombie rules, jokes about fast food, and perhaps even some moral insights into mankind throughout the story. Eh, ignore the moral insights into mankind comment. Instead, just read the book for its fast-paced action, its witty dialogue, and of course the zombies."
Nick may have been destined to experience the inescapable zombie apocalypse right from the beginning. How much worse could it possibly get? Nick already had a loser father who decided to check out after Nick’s mother left. Nick’s little sister was awesome, but it’s hard to be a decent caregiver when you’re forced to work in a chicken processing plant just to pay the bills. And don’t get started about the actual job processing chickens. Although Nick would have preferred not to get stabbed in the hand, shut down a new and expensive machine, and get assigned to a juvenile delinquent “experience” for retribution, perhaps it was just destiny.
Out in the wild, surrounded by other supposed teenage criminals, Nick became Nero and decided to not look back. He decided not to look back on his missed chances with Petal, the only girl he had ever been interested in. He decided to not look back at his forgotten childhood, spoiled by family conflict. And Nero most definitely did not look back when his counselors turned into bloody, flesh-eating zombies overnight. Faced with few choices, Nero and the remaining survivors embark on a mad journey through the wilderness desperately avoiding the other zombies who seem to appear out of nowhere at every turn.
Armed only with the knowledge of what zombie movies have taught them, Nero and the other boys eventually hook up with the small group of girl juvenile delinquents and try to figure out what the heck happened. Despite their best efforts to blame it on a government conspiracy, a mutated virus, or any other reasonable explanation, they eventually realize that the zombies have been created from something terribly frightening, but not really that unexpected --- fast food. They say it’s a dog-eat-dog world, but in this case, you could say it’s a man-eat-fast-food-eat-man world.
The best thing about author Sean Beaudoin is that he takes familiar genres and turns them on their head. He did it with the private detective genre in YOU KILLED WESLEY PAYNE, and he’s done it again with the zombie apocalypse in THE INFECTS. Sure, the zombies are ruthless, disgusting, and creepy as anything you may read or see, but that’s beside the point. Like all good books, it’s the little things that matter, and Beaudoin inserts zombie rules, jokes about fast food, and perhaps even some moral insights into mankind throughout the story. Eh, ignore the moral insights into mankind comment. Instead, just read the book for its fast-paced action, its witty dialogue, and of course the zombies.
Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on November 27, 2012