Disappointing addition to young adult paranormal genre
Having never read any of the Dark-Hunter books, I came into Kenyon's INFINITY: CHRONICLES OF NICK without expectations. Unfortunately, Kenyon's foray into the young adult genre left me extremely disappointed. As the book opens, we meet Nick, a scrappy but sullen fourteen-year-old boy who lives with his mother in the slums of New Orleans. After being shot during an attempted mugging one night, Nick is saved by a mysterious man who takes him under his wing. As Nick's time with his new mentor continues, he slowly learns about an otherworld he didn't know existed and his potential role in it. Soon, zombies start terrorizing the city, and Nick finds himself at the center of a ragtag group who must try to stop them.
First and foremost, this book should be marketed for middle-grade readers, not young adults. The writing was elementary and simplistic, which is not how a young adult novel should read, even if the characters are young. The writing felt lazy with weak descriptions and an overreliance on supposed "teen speak" like Nick saying "Gah!" all the time. Little to no character development occurred among the main characters, and all of the secondary characters were flat. The plot itself felt silly and contrived, since it was clear there was never any real threat. As a non-Dark-Hunter reader, the mythology was confusing and remained unclear at the end of the book. This muddled mythology contributed to the poor world building, which was so minimal that I was never able to suspend belief and immerse myself in the created world. Completely illogical things happened, even for an urban fantasy, like immortals disclosing secret information to Nick within minutes of meeting him or kissing scenes while zombies were literally trying to eat the characters.
Among the few positives, INFINITY may appeal to young male audiences with its focus on action, instead of romance. Younger readers may enjoy the dialogue and find it humorous, and the story did end with a finished conclusion (no cliffhanger), which I always appreciate. For existing fans of Kenyon's adult Dark-Hunter series, this novel may also provide backstory for characters they've followed in her other books.
Overall, Kenyon's attempt to jump into the young adult market with INFINITY disappointed me with its inability to create a world I would want to visit again. As an adult reader, it also failed to entice me to pick up her adult series. If you're a fan of adult urban fantasy and would like to see a good addition to the young adult world by one of your favorite authors, I highly recommend Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series (THE SUMMONING, Book 1) instead.