Friday, September 3, 2010

The Ninja Reviews... Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hello my little ninjas.  Today is a very sad day at the Library Ninja because..I...could...!  Historically Ninja Amy and myself (and all our Ninja helpers) typically love YA fiction and so we can find silver lining in books that maybe weren't written well or weren't the best novel out there.  But we like to think everything has a little something substantial to offer the reader.

Well today my friends, I must give a book one star.  Just one lousy, Ninja kicking star for the book Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  I've never read Kenyon's other novels (she writes for adults, this is her first YA book) so I came in with no expectations except for maybe a good, adventurous read.  The reviews on Amazon are good but not outstanding so I thought it would be entertaining.  It wasn't.

Infinity is about Nick, a wrong-side-of-the-tracks high school freshman whose dad is a jailed murderer and mom is an exotic dancer.  Because of his mother's job and his scholarship status at the prestigious school he goes to, Nick is constantly picked on and called names like "trailer park" or "white trash".  After being shot in a hustling incident gone wrong, Nick is saved by a generous stranger who employs Nick so he can work of his hospital debt.  While employed, Nick begins to learn about a mysterious other world he had not been privy to until now.  And when zombies start attacking the neighborhood, Nick finds himself amongst the eclectic group that must stop the outbreak.

The writing in the novel is paltry to say the least, with Kenyon writing at such an elementary level that it's hilarious.  What teenager who grew up in an urban area calls people "goober"?  Kenyon tries to talk "teen speak" by dumbing down and simplifying her characters leaving me wondering if she's ever actually read a good YA novel!  What bully says "I'm going to kick your butt so hard you're gonna taste shoe leather"?  Answer: none!

Nick's relationship with his mother is also a very aggravating part of this novel.  He would do something stupid, worry that his mom would kill him, apologize to his mom who would accept, and then repeat the process over and over again!  Their relationship doesn't develop very well and watching Nick go from a tough, street-smart kid to one worrying his mommy would ground him just didn't set well with me.  It got annoying.

Finally the plot was just baaaaad.  I thought Zombies...okay I like zombies.  But it quickly became clear that Kenyon has no clue what an actual zombie is as she bent mythology to suit her book.  I know that part of writing paranormal books is getting somewhat free reign on mythology and monsters, but the way these new zombies are created is laughable.

This book would probably be enjoyed more by upper elementary and junior high school boys, but I would not recommend it to serious fans of paranormal books, Twihards, or older high school teens.

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