Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Nick Gautier has not led an easy life; he has never known his father (seeing that his father is in prison) and lives alone with his mother, who was all but disowned by her family for keeping her son when she got pregnant while still in school. Nick and his mother live in near poverty with his mother working as a stripper at a local club to support them. Constantly bullied by his classmates because of his conditions (the secondhand Hawaiian t-shirts from Good Will his mother buys for him don't help), Nick has become an extremely cynical and sarcastic person. Since he is fiercely defensive of his mother and her honor, Nick is constantly getting into scuffles and trouble at school, earning him earfuls from his mother and the principle.
But soon it won't be just constant teasing that Nick will have to worry about; some of the kids at school have suddenly started eating other students. Nick's friend Bubba (who happens to run a store that sells various weapons for slaying dark creatures) is thoroughly convinced that there are zombies running around. But Nick doesn't believe in such nonsense, especially when the theory comes from a gun-toting, Oprah-watching, insane man.
But while trying to escape the odd events that are happening at school, Nick gets into a sticky spot with the people he thought were his friends. After a close brush with death, a mysterious man by the name of Acheron rescues him and offers him a job. Little does Nick know, this job may just open his eyes to a world he never knew existed--a world that includes gods, zombies, vampires and other beings he had once thought only existed in fantasies. Cynical and unbelieving as ever, Nick thinks the people around him are just going bonkers, but he better start believing soon, or he might just end up next on the menu for some of those creatures...
I have mixed opinions about Infinity. Overall, I'd say I enjoyed reading it, mostly thanks to Bubba and Nick's characters. Nick has a quick wit and can be extremely sarcastic at times (a trait which has unfortunately landed himself in trouble with bullies, parents and other persons of authority multiple times), but despite being street-smart, had a sense of honor and was highly protective of his mother. As for Bubba, what's not to like? He's got sarcastic comebacks that rival Nick's, has more modified weapons than is safe or legal, knows how to use a (modified, of course) cattle prod, and is obsessed with watching Oprah. (And you better not disturb him while he's watching Oprah, or you may just find yourself on the receiving end of said cattle prod.) The two of them, Nick and Bubba, really made the book for me and I had more than a few good laughs as I read Infinity.
I found Infinity confusing at times, though this could be because I have never read Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series (which is an adult series while Infinity is YA). Some of the characters' backgrounds were confusing (I had trouble keeping up with who was related to whom), as was the plot at times. Some parts of the books were also rather repetitive; for instance, Nick would get in trouble, get yelled at by his mother, say he's sorry, then the cycle would just start over.
Certain parts felt a little too far-fetched and almost forced --spoiler alert-- (skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to read the spoiler) like the part where we learn that the live zombies were turned that way because of a computer game. I thought it was a little much and had been hoping for a better reason why the certain kids had been turned into zombies.
While I love Nick's sarcasm, I think other aspects of his character were a bit baffling. For instance, he eventually becomes more receptive to the idea that certain people he interacts with, Acheron and Caleb for instance, are not really human. Despite this acceptance that there might be some paranormal beings around, Nick adamantly refuses to believe in zombies and creatures of the night. He thinks Bubba and Mark are off their rockers since they believe in zombies, hunt them, and hold zombie survival classes. I wasn't sure how Nick could believe Acheron wasn't human, but kept refusing to believe in zombies, vampires and other things Bubba and his friends hunted.
From what I heard, there has been mixed reviews for Infinity. I thought it had it's flaws but also had some redeeming qualities. I rather enjoyed Nick's wit, so I'll be interested in seeing what happens next in his adventure, along with what Bubba and Mark will do next. Hopefully the next book will help sort out some of the confusion I have concerning the plot and relationships in the first book! I am looking forward to reading Chronicles of Nick: Invincible, but meanwhile, I think I'd like to check out Sherrilyn's Dark Hunter series!
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