There must be something with new authors and 2009; this is the 3rd novel I've read this year by a first-time author. Although it was originally self-published on-line, David Moody's Hater, found a publisher and, with that, should enjoy a lot of new interest. It wasn't until the last few pages that I realized that this is the first novel in a series. Finishing Hater, I can't wait for the next installment.
Set in an unnamed city in Britain, Danny McCoyne works in the Parking Fine Processing office, a government job for those workers on their way down. Husband and father, he watches his money closely, as he doesn't have much to spare. After he gets home from a long, tough day being shout at from upset people with parking fines or wanting boots removed from their cars, he can't even relax in front of the television, his kids are monopolizing it. But there are times where he and his wife are able to escape from their modest flat. On one outing, they are at a club enjoying one of Danny's favorite bands. However, mid-set, the lead singer stops playing and simply stares out into the crowd. And then he goes berserk-using his guitar as a weapon, he lashes out at his bandmates. Danny and his wife escape the ensuing chaos and rioting patrons. Later, the 24 hour news stations begin to show other seemingly acts of random, vicious violence, eventually calling the instigators "Haters.". These random acts are occurring all over the city, at such a rate that the government tells people to stay indoors, create a "safe room," and to wait for further instructions. And then the military gets involved and starts house to house searches.
Moody has written a book that is very hard to put down. Interspersed with scenes of violence, shocking in it's fury and randomness, Moody carefully introduces us to Danny McCoyne until you really care about the character. You go with Danny to his job, experience his home life, his interactions with his children, and witness his relationship with his father-in-law. Then, when it appears that Haters are tearing society apart, you hope that Danny is able to protect his family. Moody increases the tension by investigating the mundane; if you are locked in your flat, how do you provide for your family as your food stocks diminish? How do you protect your family, especially if you don't know if one of them is a Hater? How do you explain to your children the scenes of violence on the television and out in your street? Suspenseful, disturbing, and utterly enjoyable, Hater is world full of fear, mistrust, and madness. And it is one of the best books I have read.
HATER is a great mixture of a lot of themes in recent popular culture mediums. Similarities can be drawn between widespread viruses, zombies, war, and near Armageddon scenarios. However, while this book seems similar to many movies (28 days later, I Am Legend, etc.), HATER is still a unique book with a compelling and equally unique storyline. HATER is a narrative told from the perspective of a father and husband in a world that, day by day, becomes more chaotic and dangerous. … more
It never ceases to amaze me how many doors have opened up for me since I started reviewing the books I read. Publishers now send me free books to read and review. Authors contact me. Kind folks at Lunch … more
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