Infinity: Chronicles of Nick
I’ll admit, the moment I started reading this and realized the main character “Nick Gautier” was only fourteen, I was apprehensive. We’ve come to know him as one of Kenyon’s crush-worthy adult characters from her “Dark-Hunter” series, and while I knew this story was about Nick as a teen, coming into the Dark-Hunter world, I didn’t realize just how young he’d be. Don’t get me wrong, I love YA novels (young adult novels) and many have proven to be completely absorbing and powerfully addictive (Twilight, Vampire Academy, etc…). In past YA series that I have reviewed, we were essentially dealing with older teens on the cusp of adulthood and let’s be honest, there is a BIG difference between 14 year olds and 17 year olds.
That said, I want to make it clear that I really enjoyed this book. Yes, they were young, and yes, I had to essentially throw away any hope of a sweet romance story (although, there was a *touch* of something in this one too). However, the characters (old and new) were funny and/or charming and we get a few real moments with some of the characters we’ve grown to love.
Of course, many of my favorite parts in this book, directly involve Ash:
There was no logical way for Acheron to have gotten in front of him and just appeared like that. Just like the door slamming shut when he entered the kitchen, or the flash of light.
It was impossible.
No longer sure what he could believe, Nick swallowed. “What are you?”
Acheron scowled. “Completely perplexed. You remember everything that happened.” It was a statement of fact and not a question…as if Acheron was inside his head.
“Yeah. Duh. Not like you’re going to forget the killer zombie stalkers and pysched-out kitchen staff. What kind of freak show is this?”
Acheron gave an evil laugh. “You have no idea Nick. But my question is: Why are the zombies after you?”
“Oh heck no, bud. The question is: Why you got horns on your head and black lips?”
Acheron’s smile faded. “What?”
“I saw you a minute ago when you freak-flashed in here. You had horns and blue skin. What are you?”
There are also many moments with Kyrian and Simi (who is equally as silly as in past books) that make it well worth the read. Even better, we get some time with Nick, the adult (and those are some really intense and eye-opening moments, but it’s hard to quote them without giving away, what I feel is the “real” premise of the book, so I’m staying quiet about him).
Basically, we get to finally experience Nick & Kyrian meeting. In past novels, Nick’s “story” was revealed to us as Kyrian essentially saving him from a terrible beating…
Nick groaned and blinked open his…
Uh, gah, what happened? His head was throbbing and one eye had something over it that prevented him from opening it. Please don’t tell me I’ve put out an eye. His mom would flip sideways. It was her biggest fear.
Don’t play with that fill-in-the-blank, Nick. You could lose an eye. It was her favorite rant no matter what object he touched, and she’d kill him if he was now a cyclops.
…and getting him started on a “better” path (in the Dark-Hunter world as Kyrian’s “Squire”).
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And although he was young, he hadn’t been born yesterday. “I don’t know about that. My mama says we don’t take charity from people. We pay our own way.”
“Nick…” Kyrian’s voice was strained. “Look around. I’m not going to miss it. You were headed the wrong way down the street, when, for whatever reason, you made a right turn. No one made you do it. You did it by yourself. My goal is to keep you on the right path. And I know that desperate people do desperate things, so this job will help eliminate some of that temptation. You’re a good kid and you deserve a break, which I’m sure life hasn’t given you much of.”
Although considering how his world fell apart in the last couple of books, if you were to ask Nick today if his future as a Squire proved to be a better choice, his answer would probably be a resounding NO.
Nick is a sullen teenager, bullied by jocks, and having somewhat of an antisocial attitude. He is extremely protective of his mom (a stripper on Bourbon street) and despite their poverty stricken life, he is determined to get them out of their current situation. Unfortunately, this often leads him into making bad “business” decisions, cavorting with some shady dudes. While in essence, he is not a “bad” kid (his mom is strict, and he is surrounded by loving and vigilant people), his anger towards his absent, evil father, and resentment toward their lifestyle often prompt him to react in ways that have a negative outcome.
While he struggles with daily issues, the high school (and eventually the city) is overrun with zombies (teenage zombies at first, and it seems to be spreading). Zombies? Really? But wait, it gets pretty good (I loved the “how” of it). It was actually pretty original and I’m not usually a zombie fan. The vigilantes of New Orleans (Tabitha included) come together to combat this seemingly uncontrollable situation, and even the Dark-Hunters get involved.
And all the while, Nick is confronted by a few paranormal issues of his own. Never having believed in zombies and vampires, he quickly realizes that there is MUCH more to the world (and to himself) than he was ever aware of. It is his own self-discovery (and Ash’s sudden awareness of Nick) that I loved most in this book.
Acheron paused as he considered his options. Nick Gautier was a lot more than he seemed. At fourteen, Nick’s mind should have been easily wiped by his powers, like Rosa’s had been. Not that Acheron liked to use those powers on anyone. As a rule, he seldom did, but there were times when circumstances demanded it.
Killer zombies exploding in a kitchen happened to be one of them.
And it wasn’t until someone was older that they developed the ability to block that particular talent of his. And even then only the stoutest of wills could stand against his powers.
Come to think of it, no mortal human being had ever stood against his powers. Only gods and a handful of demons could fight or circumvent him against his will.
More than that, somehow, some way, Nick had glimpsed his true god form.
Nick’s enlightenment regarding the Dark-Hunters and realizing that he, too, is a part of something big (REALLY big!!) kept me enthralled.
Nick turned and blocked the punch she sent to his throat. Like something out of a movie, she punched him repeatedly and he countered every blow.
When did I learn kung fu?
And his mom said all those Jackie Chan movies were a waste. Apparently, he’d learned by osmosis – ’cause there was no way he knew this otherwise.
Personal sidenote:That “osmosis” line made me laugh, because that’s what I say all the time. I’m gonna learn to be immortal (or a vampire) through osmosis of all of these paranormal books! tee hee!!
Okay back to seriousness —> As “things” happened (I won’t tell you what, but there are many monumental events that happen to Nick in this book) I kept wondering….with all of these things changing in Nick’s past, how will that affect his “future”? And, will this change the outcome of all of the books we’ve read in the Dark-Hunter series? How could it not, you know…with the “butterfly effect” and all.
As per Wikipedia:
The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with “what if” scenarios where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.
Hrmmmm?? Something to think about…? Where are you going with this Sherrilyn? I have no idea where you’re taking us, but I will certainly follow you there!