Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Book Review: Infected

book coverScott Sigler, horror and sci-fi podcaster extraordinaire, has recently published Infected, a 2006 story originally released via podcast as Infection. Sigler has become a pioneer in the field of the podcast novel, ever since he decided to offer up his story Earthcore as the world’s first podcast-only novel. Earthcore was podcast in twenty-three episodes and created a fan base of users Sigler dubbed “junkies” because they couldn't wait for the next installment.

In Infected seeds from outer space are drifting down and infecting humans. The infection starts off as a mild rash that turns into an annoying rash that turns into a rash that one man takes care of with a fork and a lot of elbow grease. Eventually the victims start noticing pale, blue triangles appearing beneath their skin. Some succumb to their condition by hiding out in their homes, watching with revulsion and horror as their condition worsens, while others turn into weapon-wielding maniacs who attack strangers and family alike.

But ex-football player Perry Dawsey is made of hardier stock, or so his abusive, drunk, dead father keeps telling him when he appears in flashbacks and in Dawsey's fast-deteriorating mind. He starts to battle the triangles, cutting the first one out of his leg. Only problem is most of the triangles are planted near major arteries and in, shall we say, even more delicate places. The triangles are equipped with a survival mechanism that includes a whip-like tail and burrs. Eventually they start talking to Perry, asking him to feed them, to turn his body so they can see, and to question his every move as they await their hatching.

On the trail of this outbreak are the cops, the CIA, and the Centers for Disease Control. But can they figure out what's going on before the aliens build a mechanism in the woods to start an all out invasion and annihilate the human race? Infected is terrifying proof that the imagination makes for scarier monsters than any CGI-created effects.

Oh, and a word of advice: Don't eat while reading this novel. Trust me.

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