Sunday, August 10, 2008

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Generation Dead is a fun story that took a while to capture my interest. The scenes in the school cafeteria and on the bus start off like a combination of Schooled, Stargirl, Prom Dates from Hell and Sixteen Candles all meet Twilight in a "don't be so biased against the new kids just because they're dead" sort of way. I think it will have appeal to goth, quiet rebels, social status deviants, musichead - how many authors besides Krovatin mention Slayer... ;) - and even football readers. Waters' cultural references seemed well integrated in characters' personas and not just throw away gags or glitter.

I enjoyed Generation Dead but didn't find enough impetus for some of the emotions expressed and actions not taken. It bothered me that Phoebe didn't tell Adam of Pete's threats when they both witnessed the attack on Tommy and experienced the menace against themselves. There was no reason to think she would want to protect Pete or that she feared standing up for herself. Waters had already established Pete and Adam weren't friends. Why wouldn't Phoebe have been more proactive against the anti-zombie violence when she was outspoken against the media not reporting deaths? Waters could have given more depth behind the fear of the "biotically different". The reason why some living impaired functioned better than others brought a "depth of living" insight to the story. I read an advanced reader copy so it is possible that some of the writing would be tightened up in publication, and this is the best of what I've read so far, but NAY.


Julie said...

I love supernatural fiction. I was very much looking forward to this book but couldn't make myself finish it. What should have been an amusing title (I mean really, going to high school with zombies?) ended up taking itself way too seriously.

Definite Thumbs Down!

Iris said...

I started out enjoying this one, right up through page 180 or so when the zombie education class started and Pete really went off the deep end. Waters should have taken some classes from M.T. Anderson in the art of satiric humor and understanding your audience.

The giant let-down for me was the uneven-ness of the romantic elements. I thought the male voices were spot on , but the teenage females characters seemed mind-bogglingly vapid at times. NAY.