Passing Strange - Daniel Waters
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 7th July 2010
Other Titles in the Series: Generation Dead, Kiss of Life
Karen DeSonne always passed as a normal teenager - and now that she’s dead, she’s still passing - this time, as alive.
But when her dead friends are accused of a high profile murder and forced into hiding, it’s up to Karen to prove their innocence. Which means doing the unthinkable and becoming the girlfriend of bionist zealot Peter Martinsburg, who she suspects of framing them. But if Peter finds out who Karen really is, the consequences for her will be worse than death…
I’m not a huge zombie fan, but Daniel Waters’ Generation Dead series hits the nail on the head every time and Passing Strange was no exception.
Passing Strange is written in the perspective of Karen DeSonne. A not-so-central character in the series and a zombie, or differently biotic if we’re being completely PC. Unlike Adam, Karen’s narration is smooth and flowing and very alive. In fact, if I didn’t know she was dead, I wouldn’t have been able to tell, especially as she was passing as alive. Until this book, Karen wasn’t really explored at all and I’m very glad that she got an entire novel to tell her story.
Karen’s life, death and after-death are much more complicated than her role in Generation Dead and Kiss of Life would suggest. The things in her life and past that caused her to commit suicide, Karen’s struggles with herself and her family’s reaction to her death and return were explored and explained in Passing Strange. But it was the relationship from her past that intrigued me the most as that was the person that Karen was telling her story to and whose identity was concealed for most of the novel.
It was during this instalment of the series that the beliefs about zombies that motivated Pete’s behaviour were finally revealed. He was under the tutorage of the Reverend who was poisoning his mind. I even began to feel a little sympathetic towards him by the end, even though he was horrible. But Karen definitely taught him a lesson he’ll never forget.
Even though Passing Strange ended with a happy, cliffhanger-free ending, I’m still desperately hoping and wishing for another book about Phoebe, Adam, Tommy and Karen.
For my 2010 100+ Reading Challenge