Monday 9 August 2010

Passing Strange - Daniel Waters

Passing Strange - Daniel Waters

Pages: 386
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



  1. I am definitely not a Zombie fan either, but maybe I need to read another one just to see if my opinion would change. Based on your wonderful review of this book, if I do decide to go Zombie again, I will definitely go with this series.

  2. I love this series^^ Not that I'm that much into zombies but I really like the story in these books and how they focus not only on the paranormal ascpec of the zombies thin if not in the discrimination they suffer.


  3. What a lovely review, I haven't read the Generation Dead books but now I feel like I want to :)
    I am liking Karen as a character!

  4. I haven't heard too much about this series. Sounds interesting. I think I might have to add it to my TBR List. :)

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  5. Y'know, I have a real problem getting into and enjoying zombie books. I thought Generation Dead was pretty good, but couldn't get into Kiss of Life at all. I might still give this one a go, and I'm glad you enjoyed!

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