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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Infinity (Chronicles of Nick #1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1)
I am the power they can't tear down.

At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he's next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that? 

First Look: ***** I love, love love, love this cover.  And the other one, too.  It's awesome and mysterious and blue.  The premise looked interesting, but not spectacular.  Then again, I've never read a zombie book before, so I didn't know what to expect.  But the cover was enough to draw me in anyway.

Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1)
An alternate cover (the paperback one, I think).  I like it.

Setting: *****  Yeah, I get that it's New Orleans.  Kenyon liked to state that often enough.  We never got many more details, though.  What season was it?  What kind of weather?  What did it even look like, for people like me who've never been to New Orleans?  Setting didn't play a real big part in this story, but a little more information would've fleshed the book out more. 

Characters: *****   They were likable enough, for the most part.  My main, huge (read: ginormous, gigantor, Everest-sized) problem with this book is that the characters weren't the least bit believable.  Let's look at Nick, for starters.  No, I've never been a fourteen-year-old boy, but I spent all of last year with them.  Nick just didn't act like them.  He wasn't realistic.  He took all the "Hey, here's a demon!  Hey, zombies exist!" way too casually.  He didn't even seem to care, in fact, that everything he knew about the world was being turned upside-down.  He wasn't ever afraid of any of it, either.  His only worry was whether or not he'd get grounded when he got home. 

The other characters weren't any better.  The mom bothered me to no end.  She was so naive, so gullible.  She believed every lie Nick told her.  She was more overprotective than a real parent would be.  And then Kenyon would do what I call "name-dropping": she'd introduce too many characters at once and didn't make their personalities clear or distinct enough for me to tell them apart or even remember who they were three chapters later.  Nobody felt like a real person at all.

Plot: ***** I'm honestly not sure how I feel about the plot.  I might have enjoyed it much more had I not had huge problems with the characters and the writing.  It had plenty of action, and the pacing was decent.  It didn't explain very much, though.  Half the time I had no idea what on earth was going on.  Kenyon introduced us to many concepts that might've been really cool, had she actually let us in on what they are.  It didn't make much sense.   

I know that this is a spinoff of Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, but that's no excuse to skip over explaining everything.  Unless the Dark Hunter series didn't explain anything either, but I doubt that. 
Uniqueness: ***** It seemed unique enough. But then again, I'm not a connoisseur of zombie fiction.  For some reason the whole thing kept making me think of Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, but I have no idea why. 
Writing: *****  Okay, these reviews are my honest opinion.  So I have to give it.  I felt like I was being talked down to, as a young adult reader.  I've never read the Dark Hunter series, but I still got the impression that this is just a dumbed-down version.  There is nothing I hate more than being talked down to in a book, just because I'm a young adult reader.  Guess what?  I know more about writing than quite a few adults.  That's not to brag, it's just the facts.  I write, and I strive to continuously learn more about it.  Most adults don't.  I know good writing when I see it, and I didn't care for this writing at all.  

To me, the voice felt sarcastic just because apparently, adults seem to have this odd notion that all teenagers use sarcasm in excess.  That's not true.  I use sarcasm, sure.  But definitely not as much as this narrative.  It really put it on thick.  Sarcasm was used even when characters were in deathly peril...not a good situation.  I understand that some people do act like that, but it takes away from the emotional impact of the scene, and therefore is bad.  

Likes: It did make me laugh.  I'll give it that. 

Not-so-great: Already mentioned above. 

Total Score: I had such high hopes for this book, but they fell flat.  The characters weren't the least bit realistic.  The plot didn't make much sense, and was never explained.  It was overly sarcastic, to the point where it got annoying.  I felt like I was being talked down to because I was a teenager, and honestly, I resent that.  I hate the feeling.  I can't enjoy a book when I feel like the author isn't treating me like a serious reader.  The only reason I'm not giving it one star is because there were some parts that made me laugh, though I'm not sure if half of them were even intended to be funny. 

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