Author: Chris Wooding
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery
Published On: March 25th 2014
My Rating: 3 Stars
The final exam is survival. Paul is the new kid at Mortingham Boarding Academy, and he has a dark secret. Caitlyn admires Paul from afar and resents that he only has eyes for Erika. Erika thinks that she and Caitlyn are best friends, but she's wrong. Adam is a bully with a major chip on his shoulder. Mark is outgrowing his old friends but doesn't know how to make new ones. In a few short hours, none of this will matter. Without warning, a horrifying infection will spread across the school grounds, and a group of students with little in common will find themselves barricaded in a classroom, fighting for their lives. Some will live. Some will die. And then it will get even worse. Fast-paced and frightening, Silver is a tale set on the fringes of science and horror - a story about the struggle to survive in the face of impossible odds.
When I read the summary, the first word that popped into my mind was “Zombies!” but I was a bit off with that assumption. There are zombie-like creatures, but they’re technically mechanical ‘monsters’ that are infected with a sort of virus.
The action starts right away after introducing the characters and I felt like the action was TOO soon, and not very well-done. I had trouble believing what was happening, and while I know sci-fi isn’t supposed to be realistic or life-like, I felt like it wasn’t explained in a way that made it FEEL like it could really happen, or be happening. It made me overly aware that I was reading, instead of just being submerged in their world, the way I usually am in a good book.
Anyway, the book starts off with a silver beetle that everyone is fascinated with, up until it bites someone and then people start turning into the silver creatures, too. It was a unique idea, but I think this story could have been better, or more developed at parts.
The characters had VERY LITTLE development and it drove me crazy. Paul is in year eleven and he has a dark secret- which isn’t so much dark as it is just sad, but it’s not something extraordinary or anything. Paul likes Erika, who is best friends with Caitlyn, who loves Paul and hates Erika because Paul likes her. Mark is a nobody who wants to be a somebody and tries to accomplish it by becoming friends with Paul. In order to do that, he gets Adam, the bully, into trouble by lying about him.
Basically, the main characters are a mess and it seems like the only purpose to the mess is to complicate the story. Paul’s ‘love’ of Erika was TOTALLY insta-love because they hadn’t ever really had a conversation but somehow she was his source of ‘hope’! Ugh, no, life doesn’t actually work like that. You don’t attach yourself that heavily to another person because they are pretty and smart- especially if you don’t really know them.
Caitlyn was kind of bratty, and she used Erika to boost her status but then claims to hate Erika because of how Paul feels about her. Erika has nothing to do with Paul, but Caitlyn is still irrational. It was annoying!
The suspense kept me reading! I had to find out the source of the ‘Infected’ and how the story resolves. However, the characters nearly ruined the story for me. If you can overlook poorly developed characters in exchange for a gripping action story, then give this book a chance! If not, I’d suggest you stay away from this book.