Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Book Review: Infected by Doris Qualls

In an attempt to find a cure for the aids virus, scientists painstakingly create a new and deadly virus that turns humans into deadly, zombie like creatures. 25 year old college student Breanne Jacobs and her cousin Zoe do their best to prevent becoming victims of bloodshed. Once the virus is unleashed in the world, Zoe will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves.

Love erupts in a dangerous time but can it last? In control of their own destiny, Breanne and Zoe try to make decisions that will keep not only themselves alive, but can they also protect the ones they love?

My Review:
This is very poorly written and I lost interest in the story quickly. It sounded good in theory: scientists think they have found a cure for AIDS,but something goes wrong and it mutates into something deadly. The idea was sound but the execution was dreadful.

It opens with a lot of background on Breanne and Zoe. We get told all about the death of Breanne's father, her mother abandoning her to the care of her aunt and cousin Zoe, and how at community college together, the girls are sharing a house. It's only a few pages of background but it has things you could care less about when the apocalypse is unfolding-ie a few tiny snippets of Breanne attending a class she hates for about 6 lines and how attractive and nice a female classmate is. We get more on that than the actual unfolding outbreak. A news reporter says there is going to be a cure for AIDS in the next few days. The girls scoff. The next day, we get told that the virus has mutated, infected people, is airborne and people should stay indoors. Whoa, slow the heck down! I seriously doubt an announcement about the cure would be made to the media until after tests were complete and the sudden 24 hour 'this is now a disaster' was way too quick and unrealistic.

A few lines later, three weeks have passed, the girls have no food and we're dumped with them at the grocery store checkout where a 'strange man' attacks them and they run off. We go straight to Zoe's POV as chapter two then starts a week later with a report that clinics are open to isolate the infected. Zoe mentions that a week ago the world was fine which is not accurate-we are a full month after the disaster started by now so the author isn't paying attention to her own timeline. At this point I stopped reading.

There is no attempt to build the plot or to develop the characters. We are told what the author wants us to know but there is no cohesion or flow to the story, linking the events. We just jump from point to point and get given the next update, which is not satisfying. It is all tell and no show! Where is the build up of tension as they have to get out the house and go for supplies? Why is there not more on the attack in the shop to get the story moving? Where are the zombie reports and footage on the news a full month after infection begins? There is nothing to excite or interest the reader as the plot flickers along like a dying lightbulb. There is very little conversation between the two main characters so we don't get to know them or their relationship. In fact all we know about Zoe is she has tattoos and makes good chicken noodle soup. The scene now jumps to the girls suddenly realising they haven't heard from family in this whole outbreak and driving off to find them. Can't the author show us anything instead of just a few lines about what happened to Chris??? And why did it take so long for them to remember their family? Talk about holes in the plot...you could drive a SUV through them!

This is not a zombie novel. This feels more like notes jotted down for a story that have not been expanded or completed yet. It lacks any flow of plot or excitement or tension, and I don't really care about the characters as we don't get a chance to know them. There is no action and I find nothing in this to recommend it to anyone. Add to that it has about 60 pages and you realise it isn't going to get better. Give this a miss.
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

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