I read this series in stages, the first two while I still worked in the bookstore, and the last a few months ago (has it been that long already? Ouch). It’s the type of book that has always stayed with me, even though it’s been a while since I last read it.
The series is horror fiction at it’s best, but it also leads a lot to the human condition and human psychology. It’s not necessarily a “zombie” book, but there are similarities. The title “hater” actually refers to the mental condition of the populace. In the beginning people started to turn; out of nowhere they seemed to snap and violently attack anyone around them. One minute they’re normal, the next they’re screaming and trying to maim and kill the person beside them.
The novel is written from the main characters point of view so you get his perspective of what’s happening.
It starts with his portrayal of the outbreak, the fear and chaos, and trying to keep his family together. So you get to see how the normal human view’s the “haters”. They see the turned humans as no better than animals driven by rage. Danny soon becomes one of the “haters”, so you get to see both sides of the story; where they are not animals driven by rage, they are driven by fear. When they see a regular human their fight of flight response, them-or-us, kicks in and they lash out. It is merely survival, in truth they are not under any threat, but in their minds they are. Haven’t wars started the same way?
History repeats itself and you go from seeing the Haters as criminals, to victims of genetics and the regular humans as the criminals. The series itself is a mind-trip, each book bringing a different view to the state of the world and the humans vs hater phenomenon.
I flew through the books, but that is also because not only do I enjoy a good horror, but I love books that make you stop and think. Which side was truly in the right, which side was better on their views of the world, and which side is the true hater?