Fiend by Peter Stenson

June 30, 2014     erinbook     Book review


Fiend by Peter Stenson

Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Crown
295 Pages
Received: From Publisher
Format: Paperback



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?
   Propelled by a blistering first-person voice and featuring a powerfully compelling antihero, Fiend is at once a riveting portrait of addiction, a pitch-black love story, and a meditation on hope, redemption, and delusion—not to mention one hell of a zombie novel.
Review: Fiend is “fiendishly good”All puns aside, this book was a great read. Think The Walking Dead meets Breaking Bad and you’ve got the basic idea of this book. Zombie books are starting to become tired and overdone, but this one doesn’t fill me with the bored despair that has become common when I pick one up.
Fiend is not pretty. It’s gritty and dark and leaves you feeling a bit uncomfortable at times. It’s full of dark humor and moments that left me laughing and freaked out all at the same time. Have you ever noticed how similar meth users and zombies actually are? Yeah think about that for a second.
The zombies in this book are the slow, dull, groaning messes that pop culture seems to have defined them as. They’re freaky and have weird, maniacal laughs. I had a momentary image of the Joker in my mind, then. I loved how fast the book was. From the moment I took it off my doorstep to the moment I finished the book was about the span of three or so hours.
I was really attracted to this book by its cover, it’s simple but done in bold colors that stand out and make a statement. I’m partial to simple covers like this one.
Have you read Fiend? What did you think? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
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