by David Moody
REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL
Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened 'Haters' by the media, the attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers.
There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, then hundreds of thousands. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a Hater. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them with ultra violent intent.
Waking up each morning, no matter how well defended, everyone must now consider the fact that by the end of the day, they might be dead. Or perhaps worse, become a killer themselves.
As the status quo shifts, ATTACK FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER becomes the order of the day... only, the answers might be much different than what you expect....
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It's difficult for me to explain this book without giving away something vital. Hater is almost a modern take on a zombie tale, but not quite -- it's more than that, a not-zombie book: there are no undead, rotting and roaming the streets, but the atmosphere is the same. There's the same Us vs. Them mentality, and the same mindless brutality, but for all its similarities, Hater is also worlds apart. In straightforward zombie stories, you just have this unknown motivation (brains? why brains?) or no real reasoning, but just a plodding force that won't give up and will come for you, and you have no idea why. In Hater, there is a similar confusing terror of the why is this happening, why me? sort, but you also get to experience things from a Haters perspective, like being in the zombie hoarde and knowing you must kill. And it doesn't matter why. This is done so well in Hater, and creeps up on you so perfectly that it works its way under your skin in a truly disturbing way.
It's a truly frightening scenario that has you questioning what you would be like. Haters are full of an unexplained paranoia that everyone else is out to get them, and so they brutally attack those who they believe will attack them: kill or be killed. As it progresses, this means that whether you are a Hater or a "normal" human being, the worst is bound to come out in you, because you can trust no one. It's like those ridiculous stories anti-drug groups act out in middle schools, about acid trips gone really wrong* -- only on a global scale. It's mass paranoia and distrust, and it's inescapable, and to me, that's something that's far more terrifying than, I don't know, killer clowns** or masked mad men. Much scarier than knowing there's a monster out there is realizing that you are the monster.
And I think that's where the power of this stories lies. We live all of this mess through Danny, including all of his (comparatively) trivial frustration and "everyday" misery. We can relate to him, and as the story slams back and forth between Danny's life and hater attacks, building tension of two different but palpable types, we can't help but put ourselves in the situation and experience the book. Which is a good, if disturbing, thing.
Here's my [zombie] teaser, yo! (don't ask me why I sometimes feel compelled to 'yo' things. I don't know.):
Also don't forget to check out my interview with David Moody, and the PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY (includes Hater!)
*Know what I'm talking about? They are these horrific urban-legend-like stories of people on acid, gouging out their own eyeballs with knitting needles because they think there are spiders behind their eyes...Or was this just at my school?
Couldn't have been, The Simpsons did a similar episode...Cool points to anyone who knows what I'm talking about and can find that episode...
** like the ones from outer space ~cheese alert!~