Monday, 11 August 2014

Book Review: Hater by David Moody

A modern take on the classic “apocalyptic” novel, Hater tells the story of Danny McCoyne, an everyman forced to contend with a world gone mad, as society is rocked by a sudden increase in violent assaults. Christened “Haters” by the media, the attackers strike without warning and seemingly without reason. Within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers. As the carnage mounts, one thing soon is clear: everyone, irrespective of race, gender, age, or class, has the potential to become either a Hater or a victim. At any moment, even friends and family can turn on one another with violent intent. In the face of this mindless terror, all McCoyne can do is secure his family, seek shelter, and watch as the world falls apart. But when he bolts the front door, the question remains: Is he shutting the danger out or locking it in?

My Review:
I love zombie books and those that deal with a virus, plague or incident causing people to go mad etc. I've read a lot of books in this genre but this was memorable for the wrong reasons. The idea of the book is good, which is why I bought it despite not loving a previous series by the author. The sections of the story which deal with the sudden change in a human to make them a hater are well written and interesting but these sections get lost in the family life of a guy that is a giant pain in the butt. The problem for me is that in the first third of the book we get just a few of these interludes and the rest focuses on characters who are the family from hell and their petty fights and complaints about life. If you disliked the characters from Autumn, you might wish for them back when you meet this lot! The book itself is not badly written and the author obviously has a talent for horror storytelling but it is just spoiled by the characters.

Our hero Danny describes himself as 'a lazy bastard' who can't be bothered putting in the effort to do his job well. His lack of effort has seen him being moved around various council jobs and now he is in the worst department, known as a dead end job for under performers. He sits and moans about this crap job and nasty boss and we are meant to feel sympathy for him? Sounds to me that he had chance after chance to work hard and make an effort to get somewhere in life and ends up here because he is just a lazy waste of space. So his whining got on my nerves from page one. His wife or girlfriend(can't remember if they are married) complains about him being late home and her being tired from juggling work and dealing with their kids all day and all he can do is get annoyed about her burning the dinner. Danny moans about all the kids being unplanned and badly behaved-well whose fault is that then? He shouldn't have had three kids he can't afford. As for the kids, they are monsters from hell. These are the kids that I see in cafes etc acting up and causing a riot while the parents can only say 'stop that' fifty times. The whole family were whining and complaining and fighting non stop, going from one situation to the next with more of the same.

So we get a two page hater incident, Danny's woes for eighteen pages, three hater pages, Danny witnesses his favourite band trying to kill each other in a hater crime and moaning that his night out has been ruined, five pages of brats behaving badly, two pages of haters, six pages of more brattish behaviour before another incident happens in front of them...this is how the first seventy pages went and I was so sick of this damn family that I hoped they would all die and we could just follow Danny's normal father-in-law instead. Maybe when the full crisis hits the news Danny will grow a backbone, stop acting like a brat and get his idiot family into some kind of order but to be honest I didn't care enough to find out.

What could have been a good book was ruined, just like Autumn because of obnoxious characters that you just don't care about. I don't know why the author is obsessed with using horrible moronic people as his heroes but I won't be reading anything else by him in the future. 
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg

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