Monday, November 29, 2010

Passing Strange by Daniel Waters

Passing Strange (Generation Dead #3) by Daniel Waters.
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH.
Pages: 386.
Karen DeSonne is used to pretending to be something she’s not. All her life, she’s passed as a normal all-American teenager; with her friends, with her family, and at school. Passing cost her the love of her life. And now that Karen’s dead, she’s still passing this time, as alive.

Meanwhile, Karen’s dead friends have been fingered in a high-profile murder, causing a new round of anti-zombie regulations that have forced nearly all of Oakvale’s undead into hiding. Karen soon learns that the “murder” was a hoax, staged by Pete Martinsburg and his bioist zealots. Obtaining enough evidence to expose the fraud and prove her friends’ innocence means doing the unthinkable: betraying her love by becoming Pete’s girlfriend. Karen’s only hope is that the enemy never realizes who she really is because the consequences would be even worse than death.
Passing Strange, the third novel in the Generation Dead series, manages to continue the story of “differently biotic” teenagers (zombies) who try to live and survive in a world full of people who want them gone, from three completely new perspectives. While overwhelming and kind of falling flat, I think this book was very beneficial to the series. How can you write a series about racism against zombies from just the eyes of a human?

I loved Karen’s story. Her sneaking around and plotting to expose Pete and his anti-zombie shenanigans were something new and refreshing and very entertaining. As far as protagonists go, I prefer Phoebe, but she wasn’t as exciting as Karen is. With Karen, we’re really jumping into the life as a “differently biotic” teen; one that has more issues and emotions than we were led to believe in the previous books. And throwing hardcore zombie-killer-extraordinaire Pete Martinsburg into the mix? It was kind of funny and intense and heartbreaking all at the same time.

But besides Karen’s involvement with Pete and her quest to reveal the zombie imposters from Kiss Of Life, nothing really connected this to the rest of the series. I think the constant switching of perspectives made this book more of a filler than one that actually contributes to the rest of the plot. We read about Karen’s feelings, Pete’s feelings, Tak’s feelings. But beyond what I’ve already established, it’s really anticlimactic.

Overall, I very much appreciated the eccentric Karen and psychotic Pete’s sides of the story, but this book felt out of touch from the rest. I’m not positive if there will be more to the series or not, but if there is, I’m rooting for Phoebe to take the reign again.

Other reviews for Passing Strange:
More Than Just A Book.
So Many Books, So Little Time.
The Book Smugglers.
The O.W.L.


  1. I really want to read this series and it sounds interesting. Great review :)

  2. Nice honest review! I loved Generation Dead, and disliked the sequel. So, I'll have to see how I feel about this one, I'll eventually get to it. :)

  3. Great review! I need to read Generation Dead - I haven't read any of them yet but it sounds like a fun take on zombie tales.

  4. I feel exactly the same way. When I started reading it, I checked the cover a few times to see if it was a spin off. I was confused as to why Phoebe and Adam were kinda just dumped off and ignored for a while. But I was always wondering about Karen and Pete during the other two so I really liked this book, even if it was kinda a filler.