The Infection
Craig DiLouie

Permuted Press
Price: $14.50 (Paperback) and $9.99 (Kindle)
Review by Darkeva

The Review: The Infection came out in January of this year from Permuted Press, one of their highlights for their 2011 list. The book introduces us to a zombie infection plot that sees people spreading the Infection and becoming the Infected, infecting as many people as they can – and very quickly. The virus seems to spread through ingesting the same air as an Infected person nearby and the author illustrates this in the beginning scene, which takes place with one of our main characters, a teacher named Ethan (the story is told through four principal characters through present narrative interspersed with personalized flashbacks which are thankfully named as such) witnesses the beginnings of the outbreak of the Infection in his own classroom when students start convulsing on the floor and then just pretty much going berserk. He and a few other students escape, and all he can think of is saving his loved ones – a wife and a daughter.

A few days after the outbreak, his wife is set to return to work, which makes him anxious, but that’s soon the least of his worries as he finds that all paths lead to the Infected. He eventually meets another of the main characters, Anne, who is the leader of the group of survivors that includes Sarge, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan; Todd, a troubled high school student; Wendy, a cop with a penchant for exacting justice; and Paul, a preacher who seriously has some doubts about faith and religion (and who could blame him?)

What sets this book apart is its explorations of the individual characters and the choices they make in order to survive, like shooting someone Infected no matter how hard it weighs on them. It’s a stark examination of the fading of the American Dream – an astute political commentary, including discussions of how 9/11 affected kids beyond the obvious.

If you’re looking for a character-driven zombie apocalypse novel, you’ll find it in the pages of The Infected.

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