Fiend by Peter Stenson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As a book about drug addicts, Fiend really succeeds. The mind and motivations of Chase are exactly as simplistic and yet complex as any drug addict I have ever known or read about.
As a zombie novel . . . it's not bad. Stenson doesn't delve very deeply into how or the zombie apocalypse happened, and since the book is told from the first-person point of view of a meth head, that makes sense, because he wouldn't know more than what he could observe and wouldn't care enough to sit there and "figure things out." Still, I can't help but feel as though it's a bit of a cop out. How did drugs keep this small contingent of people from being infected with "zonbie disease?" How did the disease come about in the first place? I'm a curious reader. I want to make sense of things!
My biggest issue with this book was its pacing. The pace starts out frenetic and really just tries to maintain that level all the way through. Yes, there are "down moments" when Chase reflects on the past or stops to really think about whatever situation he's in, but these feel more like stalls in the action than valleys in a rolling arc of narrative. Essentially there are just too. Many. CLIMAXES!
This might be the first time I've ever said this, but I think Fiend will do much better as a movie than it will as a novel. I hope a producer has the insight to pick it up.
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