“The Infects” by Sean Beaudoin


“The Infects” is a zombie novel about which I feel ambivalent, but ultimately I’ll give it a thumbs up, though not an enthusiastic one.


The plot centers around Nick, a teenager who commits an act of vandalism in his workplace, a chicken-processing plant, and is sent to an Outward Bound-type program for juvenile offenders. He’s barely on his way with the group when things start to go horribly awry — as in people freaking out and eating other people going awry. From that point on, it’s a fight for survival for Nick and the other group members.


The plot itself seemed familiar to me (Louis Sachar’s “Holes” meets any teenage zombie novel), and until I got used to it and the action kicked in, I was ready to dismiss the author’s writing style as that of a self-conscious hipster. But it grew on me, and I stuck with the book.


I enjoyed the twisted sense of humor throughout “The Infects,” as well as the theme of subversion. Fight authority. Speak up. It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to dress or talk or act differently from the flock.


The cause of the zombie epidemic became evident to me pretty early on, so there were no surprises there. Even so, I loved the ending, as well as all the gore leading up to it. Let’s just say that while reading “The Infects,” I was especially happy to be a vegetarian.


Interested in checking out “The Infects”? Wander over to the Teen Department next time you’re at the Joplin Public Library.

Lisa E. Brown is the Administrative Assistant at the Joplin Public Library.