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.
My Rating: 3/5
I first picked up this book in the bargain section at work (Barnes & Noble shoutout) and it was initially the cover that drew me in (usually the case when I’m browsing for any random book). The pink! The yellow! The skull and cross needles! You’ve got me intrigued Mr. Stenson, bravo! Then, the inside book jacket – that first line, “When Chase Daniels first sees the little girl in umbrella socks tearing open the Rottweiler, he’s not too concerned.” If that doesn’t have you reading more into this, it’s CLEARLYnot the book for you so just go away while I enjoy this interestingly silly book jacket. Then we get into a drug + zombie combo for this book. Sold. What a concept, I think this is going to be a hilarious and VERY entertaining ride ahead of me. I’m also feeling that anyone who goes into this book with a notion that it’s serious is just a complete moron and doesn’t deserve to enjoy it the way it should be. As I’m writing this, I have not yet started this book. I wanted my first impression to be raw and not by any means influenced. Let’s see how wrong I am:
Well, I wasn’t too far off! This book starts off slightly comical and tends to get more serious the deeper in we go. One of my favorite quotes from this book is from pg. 6 where Chase describes a bloodied, undead child: “I turn to see Typewriter at the top of the stairs and then look back to the girl sitting there like a used tampon.” I’m glad I didn’t have any liquids in my mouth at the time because this line had me cracking up 😄
One thing I have to complain about though – lack of quotations, arghhh! It drove me nuts, but luckily, it was never confusing knowing who you were reading as so it wasn’t too bad. This really could have made for an annoying read.
Finally, my rating dropped from a 3.5 to a 3 because the ending sucked. It was left open ended and not in a good way. I literally said what the fuck? after I read the last sentence… so his girlfriend KK just leaves him and doesn’t off herself so presumably she’ll eventually do it or rot to death in the prison.. alone. Then Chase is left in the real world. Alone. Will he off himself eventually? Does he continue north like he was planning on doing? Does he sit there high as fuck until the chucks get him? Don’t like this. I would have rather it been told for me.
Overall this was a fun read. If you’re into zombies and cursing like a sailor while reading about people trying to survive off of dope, this is your book!