A feast for the brain, this gory and genuinely hilarious take on zombie culture simultaneously skewers, pays tribute to, and elevates the horror genre.
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an "Inward Trek." As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of "infects" shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate "Zombie Rules" almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back. Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read — whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten — and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.
Beaudoin’s blackly comedic tale takes zombie lore to new territory—not only with the outbreak’s unusual point of origin but also with its consideration of the next phase of human evolution. An utterly original voice, plenty of sly pop-culture references, and a twist ending make for a satisfying read.
—The Horn Book
It is the zombie novel only Beaudoin could write, an allusive horror novel that engages in philosophical, social, and humanist critique while providing plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Horror goes hand in hand with dark comedy in this wickedly unpredictable adventure, as Beaudoin simultaneously skewers the fast food industry and familiar zombie tropes.