(Generation Dead Book #3)
by Daniel Waters
Genre: Young Adult | Urban Fantasy | Paranormal Romance
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.
Karen has always been considered one of the "fast" zombies and the most caring and beautiful as well. She has dear friends who are both living-impaired and heart-beaters, but in the beginning of Passing Strange she learns something about herself that both fascinates and frightens her immensely. Thus, she decides to keep it a secret. Her world has also turned up-side-down, funny thinking that she's a rare zombie to begin with, but seriously . . . her fellow dead-walking friends are now in hiding on the bottom of the local frozen lake for a crime they didn't commit, her family is beginning to emotionally reach out to her in ways she never imagined since her suicide, the government has passed new strict laws where her kind are no longer allowed out without certain authorization, and she was able to pass as being "alive" long enough to get a job at the mall. Strange, right? Now she's taken it upon herself to help her friends, both living and dead, to overcome the injustice being dealt to them by falsely dating (ie. being an undercover agent) the main reason for most of their problems, Pete.
Like all readers following the Generation Dead series, Passing Strange created a twist for it's fans by getting new POVs. The previous two books where told from Tommy, Adam, and Phoebe's perspective, but now we're getting into the thoughts of Karen, Takuyaki, and Pete. Sadly, none of the new three narrators were my favorite in the series, but it was interesting to see the post-zombie world through their eyes. If you read the books, you know the whole concept of how everyone deals with these zombies is really one big metaphor for racism (aka "bioism" in the book). Some people deal with it a lot better than others, but overall it points out the ugliness of prejudices in society. Karen had some really touching moments throughout this book and even had me tearing up as times. Tak really learned about having to step up and take the spot of Tommy as the new leader of the local zombies. Pete was just as dark and evil throughout and didn't really convince me of his actions near the end when his conscious caught up with him, but could someone please explain what exactly was happening to him on page 369?
Also, Passing Strange ends in a why that has the reader really questioning just WHERE the series is headed. Karen's secret becomes even juicer at the end and the last sentence is a major turning point for Generation Dead, even though there seems to be a lot of foreshadowing hidden throughout the text. That's what I find so fasinating throughout these books, there's so many similarities to the past and it's a perfect example of the saying "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it".
Lastly, I'm so shocked this series hasn't become as popular as I would have liked it too. I was obsessed from book one and I know all these books will be a permanent fixture in my library. Yet, I would like more of the reading public to check them out as well since they're a delight and are definitely one of my favorites!!! Check out my reviews of Book 1 - Generation Dead and Book 2 - Kiss of Life
Likes: Tak and his gang (Popeye & Tayshawn) were really funny together.
Dislikes: I would have liked to see more of Tommy, but I know he's off doing better and brighter things right now and we'll be seeing more of him in the future of the series. Yet, if you think about who he's starting to become, that's just another huge foreshadowing of what will happen in the next couple of books. Just think about which historical figure he most resembles right now and sadly, I think they'll share the same fate!