cover image The Infects

The Infects

Sean Beaudoin. Candlewick, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5947-9

Tainted chicken leads to the Zomb-A-Pocalypse in this twisted take on the genre. After an exhaustion-induced freakout at his job at a slaughterhouse, 17-year-old Nick “Nero” Sole is sentenced to three months at the intensive Inward Trek boot camp, where he meets other troublemakers and delinquents. Their foray into the wilderness is disrupted, however, when their counselors turn feral. Now the dead are walking, and they have a taste for flesh; Nick and his fellow survivors—including his crush, Petal—are hard-pressed to stay alive against an onslaught of unrelenting, unstoppable monsters, whose ranks grow with each new victim. Worse, their eventual rescue only leads to further horrifying revelations and a surprising twist on the zombie concept. Horror goes hand in hand with dark comedy in this wickedly unpredictable adventure, as Beaudoin simultaneously skewers the fast food industry and familiar zombie tropes. Offbeat characters and a high body count combine with an evocative narrative style—not as noirish as the one Beaudoin used in You Killed Wesley Payne, but just as edgy—to create a cinematic atmosphere. Ages 14–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writer’s House. (Sept.)