Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
Genre: YA Paranormal
Book one in the Chronicles of Nick (has a connection to the Dark-Hunter series)
Main Characters: Nick Gautier - Cherise Gautier - Bubba - Mark -Kyrian Hunter - Acheron and more.
Book Origin: Personal Library
At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.
Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.
But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that.
My Review: While I feel INFINITY loses no value as a YA novel if you haven't read the Dark-Hunter novels, I am already entangled in the adult life of Nick as I’m an avid reader of said DH
series. This is why perhaps my review probably will make more sense to those who are also familiar to this series.
When I heard Nick’s back-story would be told in a Young Adult series I promised myself I would buy INFINITY and my reading experience would decide whether or not I would continue buying and reading this series. I’m not an avid reader of the YA genre and the only reason I bought INFINITY was because it was connected to the Dark-Hunter series and the fact that Nick is still one of my favorite characters. This was my mind-set before I understood that the Chronicles of Nick would also reveal secrets regarding characters such as Cherise and especially Jaden and Jared. It makes reading this chronicle more of a necessity if I want to understand the whole Dark-Hunter arc of Jaden.
When I received my copy of INFINITY my everlasting curiosity spurred me on to crack the spine and I began to read immediately. I met Nick as we got to know him in the early days of the Dark-Hunter series, only a bit younger. His mother, Cherise, is a stripper trying to make a living for herself and her son in New Orleans. She teaches him to be honorable, but when your peers know what your mother does for a living, and you have a shirt on your back with fishes in neon colors, it is hard to get by in high school. It is why Nick cloaks himself in a devil may care attitude and give lip the moment someone makes a snarky comment. However, the fairer sex also has his undivided attention and his desire to charm them is present at the core. Then one night he is invited to join a few friends for some delinquent activities and he almost crosses a barrier. It is also the night he got beat up by his so called friends and the night he is saved by Kyrian Hunter. From this moment on there is no normal anymore in Nick’s life and it all begins with the choice he made that night. The first day he goes back to school zombies create havoc on the grounds…
Nick’s vivid personality, his cunning ways and his acerbic sarcasm pulled me in and I was surprised at how the story development kept my unwavering attention. Nick is a teenager who knows the rough side of life, he has a chip on his shoulder, an attitude to match, he loves his mother above all and has a penchant for trouble. If that isn’t all, he enters the world of Dark-Hunters, Were-Hunters and all things that go bump in the night. Even though Nick is a teenager in this series all the things I like and love about his persona are already present in this Chronicle starter.
The story begins from an uncomplicated angle where the focus lies on Nick’s school life and his relationship with his mother. It is largely due to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s way of writing and letting me be a part of Nick’s inner thoughts that instantly grabbed my attention. Nevertheless, as the story progressed, as more characters got introduced and the plot thickens it loses some of that easy going charm and bantering dialogues. There were a few characters who I already met in the Dark-Hunter series like; Kyrian Hunter and Acheron but also the younger cast of characters is not without its familiar faces like Tad and Tabitha Deveraux. It really feels like traveling back in time and meeting all these characters only that much younger but with the same attitudes. Still, there is one new character who really got to me and that is Nekoda Kennedy, a.k.a Kody. She has an interest in Nick that is not all teenage lovey-dovey and it involves so much more than meets the eye. Kenyon also ups the ante with a few plot twists that really infuses this series with major possibilities for Nick’s character development. It gives a new perspective for the future of Nick and one that really excites me. It was an element in this book that caught me by surprise, next to the well-paced flow of the story it was something that held my undivided attention. The dialogues between Acheron and Nick are some of the best in this book but I must admit, I got lots of snappy bantering and humorous dialogues between a multitude of characters like only Sherrilyn Kenyon can deliver.
Next to meeting all the characters, getting all sorts of titillating information about Nick, the great interaction and humor, it is the zombie plotline that was probably the least thing that interested me. It is the origin of how teenager’s got turned in to zombies that was just lost to me and I just couldn’t surrender myself to that fact, which was probably a glitch of the adult me. What it did do is provide a turn of events which introduced Nick to a whole new world, he finds out all sorts of background info on some of the golden boys at his school and even some of his friends. Bubba and Mark are probably some of the most prominent supportive characters whose view on life and fighting zombies will make you grin.
If young adult readers find themselves introduced to Kenyon’s characters and world in INFINITY then I think they will have a blast. Nothing is present to really make the reader think they’re missing something, everything is present; from a main character who alternates his humor, sarcasm and charm with also his teenage fears, confusions and hopes for the future. A plot arc that fascinates and many characters who add their own personality flavor. A huge entertainment factor for me was to meet characters like Nick, Acheron, Tabitha and Kyrian again but I was caught off guard by how the story kept me in its grip. I couldn’t stop reading and while I started at night, you can bet by the next evening I was finished, already contemplating how things would advance in future installments.
INFINITY was the kind of story where I expected nothing but turned out to be a surprising and highly entertaining read. Some YA elements might not catch on with me but I feel that Sherrilyn Kenyon set-up a dynamic and intriguing angle to one of the most beloved characters in the Dark-Hunter series. I’m confident Nick will find its way to many readers, both in the YA genre as for the fans of the DH series.
Quote Ash and Nick:
Nick rolled his eyes. Ash’s glib answers were started to irritate him. He wanted an answer and he wanted one now. “Oh, come one. I have to know about the who-do voodoo that you do. Most of all, I want to know how I can become immortal…well, not at my age ‘cause that would suck. But in a few years when I’m filled out and in my prime.” He grinned at Ash. “Make me immortal.”
Ash wasn’t charmed. “Look, Nick, I don’t like talking about my powers and not a lot of people know what I can do. I’m trusting you with a secret and I expect you to keep it. If you can’t…” He titled his head down as if he was looking at him over the rim of his sunglasses. “Well, I’m sure your mom’s going to miss you.”
“Not as half as much as I’d miss me if you killed me.”He blinked like a girl and leaned against Ash’s shoulder. “Please don’t hurt me, Ash. Please. I don’t want to die while I’m still a virgin. At least let me get laid before you kill me – which according to my mom I can’t do until I’m married and I can’t do that until I finish college. So you have to wait a good ten years before you snuff me. Deal?”
Ash shoved him back onto his side of the car. “You’re really not right, are you?”
“Yeah, I know. It was all the paint chips I ate as a kid. They were good, but chromosomally damaging. Ash let out an audible sigh and forced himself not to laugh at Nick’s antics.
Quote (contains spoiler!:
A loud “Yee-haw” sounded as the truck doors were slung open and Bubba, Mark, Caleb, Nekoda, Simi and Alex spilled out with weapons galore (well, not Simi; she came out bearing only a large bottle of barbeque sauce while licking her chops, and interestingly enough, she wore a large white lobster bib).