A few weeks back, I won a free copy of David Moody's Autumn: Purification, and while browsing his website, I read the first chapter of the third book in the Hater series, Them or Us.
After reading that sample chapter, I was impressed and went out to find a copy of Hater. With a bit of effort, I found one and read it in a matter of days. It floored me and I was desperate for more.
So, I immediately went out and got a copy of Dog Blood, Book Two of the Hater Trilogy. Now, after having finished it, I'm not as enthusiastic for Them or Us as I was originally.
Don't get me wrong, Dog Blood is a good book. The characters are well constructed and believable, the action intense, and the pace frenetic. But I felt there were some holes in the story.
The novel opens with a regular guy accompanying a military convoy out of a fortified city base into a rural area to collect some survivors. The trucks stop, troops fan out to protect the refugees and out of nowhere, dozens of Haters appear and attack them. So far so good. But here's where the battle kind of falls apart for me. Somehow, the unarmed Haters are able to swarm and wipe out dozens of soldiers armed with automatic weapons. Now, if this was in an urban setting where the Haters erupt from nearby buildings (as happens later in the book), okay, but the prose makes it sound like they cross a large field and a major road to get at the troops. My question is how? The troops pour fire at the Haters relentlessly, yet somehow are overwhelmed. I guess maybe a few Haters could have made it across the distance depicted in the book and in the face of heavy automatic weapons fire, but certainly not most of them, as seems to be the case.
Who knows, maybe I read that section too quickly and glossed over something important. Anyways...
The other plot hole I found unbelievable was the notion that children (Haters or Unchanged) would somehow make awesome combat troops. In one scene, a five year old girl runs/hops from victim to victim, killing full grown adults with ease. I don't know about you, but I can take any five year old girl in a fight. Yeah, she may bite me, or get lucky and gouge out an eye or something, but a five year old girl breaking an adult's neck? Sorry, I don't buy it.
Still, despite these two plot holes, the book is a good one. The novel mostly focusses on Danny McCoyne, the protagonist from Hater, and his quest to find his daughter, from whom he was separated during the chaos of the first novel.