INFECTED by James Schannep


by James Schannep

Genre: Horror, Zombie, Action

Five stars

Have you ever found yourself trapped in a zombie apocalypse? Well now you can! Written in the style of a choose-your-own-adventure story like the ones you read as a kid, INFECTED allows you to click through your choices to determine your own path through the world of horror. (Don’t give it to your kids, though!) With a first-person perspective, you can choose to run or to fight, to help a doctor racing to find a cure, to join a feisty teen on the trail to safety, or other paths. Humor and horror carry you through on your pathway through the cataclysm.  Can you survive?

I, apparently, couldn’t survive. My read-throughs took me to un-death and death, but never to happily-ever-after. I think it was my sense of loyalty that did me in. The path to doom was pretty enjoyable though! James crafted not one, but many enjoyable routes to demise, and probably survival. His characters drew you into your own tale and included you in their plans to escape death. I still had a lot of fun reading this book despite my dismal survival.

James’ choice to write a gender-neutral character in  first-person for the reader limited the story and caused some awkwardness, which James played off well and with humor. I would not have objected to being cast in a role as either male or female, and that might have offered different storylines and depth. It could have eliminated some as well, though. I felt that as neither, some of the romantic situations became confusing. I did feel a hint of masculinity in my neutral character as well, but nothing that ruined my engagement in the tale.

Normally I absolutely hate present-tense writing, but it seemed necessary for this story and didn’t make me gag. Sometimes that approach causes bad grammar mistakes, but James pulled it off well and I found nothing objectionable.

I absolutely loved James’ first-person perspective on turning into a zombie. He made the transition seem so natural, insidious, and creepy. I felt eerily comfortable with the ravenous malaise of my transformed self under James’ awful infection.

If you want to know how it feels to die and/or become one of the living dead, I would recommend this book. If you watch a certain very popular television series about the dead walking, then this is right up your alley. I laughed and chose, and died, but maybe you’ve got better skills than I do.

I approve this title for Awesome Indies.

I received this book from the author for the purposes of an unbiased review.

Buy on Amazon