[eARC Review] Fiend by Peter Stensen

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Title: Fiend
Author: Peter Stensen
Genre: Adult, Fanatsy, Zombies
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Crown Publishering
Source: eARC received by publisher via Edelweiss for honest review

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There’s more than one kind of monster.
   When Chase Daniels first sees the little girl in umbrella socks tearing open the Rottweiler, he's not too concerned. As a longtime meth addict, he’s no stranger to horrifying, drug-fueled hallucinations. 
   But as he and his fellow junkies soon discover, the little girl is no illusion. The end of the world really has arrived.
   The funny thing is, Chase’s life was over long before the apocalypse got here, his existence already reduced to a stinking basement apartment and a filthy mattress and an endless grind of buying and selling and using. He’s lied and cheated and stolen and broken his parents’ hearts a thousand times. And he threw away his only shot at sobriety a long time ago, when he chose the embrace of the drug over the woman he still loves.
   And if your life’s already shattered beyond any normal hopes of redemption…well, maybe the end of the world is an opportunity. Maybe it’s a last chance for Chase to hit restart and become the man he once dreamed of being. Soon he’s fighting to reconnect with his lost love and dreaming of becoming her hero among civilization’s ruins.
   But is salvation just another pipe dream? 

When I saw that this book was The Walking Dead meats Breaking Bad I was really intrigued and I knew I had to read it. There haven't been many adult zombie apocalypse books since The Walking Dead phenomenon so I was excited to read this book that seemed entirely different from anything I had read before. But sadly this book did not live up to my expectations.

When I dive into a book I want to feel apart of the story in some way, I want to connect with the characters, especially the main character. I also need to relate in some way to the story, but in Fiend I had none of the above. Since every single character is the book is a Meth addict or a Crack addict, I found it very hard to feel sympathy for them. There would be instances where I would read a death scene for a certain character and I know it is supposed to be sad and I am supposed to feel something, but I felt nothing. There was no remorse from me and I knew that this was my first clue that this was not my kind of book. This happened throughout the entire book and I found myself trying to find qualities in these character that would make me care more for them, but that never happened.

What I did like in this story was the twist it took on the traditional zombie novel. It was a very clever way to make a well known genre and make it original. Although this novel  was not my favourite, I give my full respect to the author for writing a book that has never been written before. He doesn't glamorize being an addict in any way, but makes it seem real. And that I loved because it made me, someone who has never been a witness to an addict of that caliber understand what that lifestyle is like.

Overall, Fiend was an original take on a well known genre, but ultimately I felt little for the characters and in the end the story did not live up to my expectations.

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