Review: Fiend by Peter Stenson

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FiendFiend by Peter Stenson

Release Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Crown
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Apocalypse, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:

There’s more than one kind of monster.

   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 Thoughts:

Wow, I was so excited about this book. I had read a review that was singing praises; we had just finished the latest season of The Walking Dead and I was jonesing for another zombie fix. I loaded it onto my eBook and bragged to all my friends about my new zombie book.  A meth head wakes up to see a little girl wearing pink umbrella socks munching on a rotweiller and thinks he is just having a bad trip. I was so excited to get into this book. But as fate would have it, there were other books to be read first. So I waited, always anticipating that next zombie fix.
This week was finally the week. I cracked into it eagerly. What a week of torture. I was so disappointed. While punctuation was almost non-existent, I could handle that. It was really just the vulgarity that bothered me… first. We’re not talking simple swearing here. No, it was full blown expressions that completely grossed me out.
Then the storyline started to fall away. If I was a meth head, I would have just found my next hit and not gone back to the book. But I struggled through, as the plotline disintegrated faster than meth in a toilet bowl.
And the ending-I fear that the author does not know how to end a story. I think that the only shining part of the whole debacle. I think that they were true to what meth heads would be like (not having had any experience with meth or anyone addicted to it myself), but they seemed very real, in the moment, and very addicted.

Sadly, this is not a book I will be recommending to anyone. The combination of vulgarity, poor punctuation, and lack of a story make it, unfortunately, not worth the time to read.

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