While I feel INFINITY loses no value as a YA novel if you haven't read the Dark-Hunter novels, I am already entangled in the adult life of Nick as I'm an avid reader of said DH series. This is why perhaps my review probably will make more sense to those who are also familiar to this series.
When I heard Nick's back-story would be told in a Young Adult series I promised myself I would buy INFINITY and my reading experience would decide whether or not I would continue buying and reading this series. I'm not an avid reader of the YA genre and the only reason I bought INFINITY was because it was connected to the Dark-Hunter series and the fact that Nick is still one of my favorite characters. This was my mind-set before I understood that the Chronicles of Nick would also reveal secrets regarding characters such as Cherise and especially Jaden and Jared. It makes reading this chronicle more of a necessity if I want to understand the whole Dark-Hunter arc of Jaden.
When I received my copy of INFINITY my everlasting curiosity spurred me on to crack the spine and I began to read immediately. I met Nick as we got to know him in the early days of the Dark-Hunter series, only a bit younger. His mother, Cherise, is a stripper trying to make a living for herself and her son in New Orleans. She teaches him to be honorable, but when your peers know what your mother does for a living, and you have a shirt on your back with fishes in neon colors, it is hard to get by in high school. It is why Nick cloaks himself in a devil may care attitude and give lip the moment someone makes a snarky comment. However, the fairer sex also has his undivided attention and his desire to charm them is present at the core. Then one night he is invited to join a few friends for some delinquent activities and he almost crosses a barrier. It is also the night he got beat up by his so called friends and the night he is saved by Kyrian Hunter. From this moment on there is no normal anymore in Nick's life and it all begins with the choice he made that night. The first day he goes back to school zombies create havoc on the grounds...
Nick's vivid personality, his cunning ways and his acerbic sarcasm pulled me in and I was surprised at how the story development kept my unwavering attention. Nick is a teenager who knows the rough side of life, he has a chip on his shoulder, an attitude to match, he loves his mother above all and has a penchant for trouble. If that isn't all, he enters the world of Dark-Hunters, Were-Hunters and all things that go bump in the night. Even though Nick is a teenager in this series all the things I like and love about his persona are already present in this Chronicle starter.
The story begins from an uncomplicated angle where the focus lies on Nick's school life and his relationship with his mother. It is largely due to Sherrilyn Kenyon's way of writing and letting me be a part of Nick's inner thoughts that instantly grabbed my attention. Nevertheless, as the story progressed, as more characters got introduced and the plot thickens it loses some of that easy going charm and bantering dialogues. There were a few characters who I already met in the Dark-Hunter series like; Kyrian Hunter and Acheron but also the younger cast of characters is not without its familiar faces like Tad and Tabitha Deveraux. It really feels like traveling back in time and meeting all these characters only that much younger but with the same attitudes. Still, there is one new character who really got to me and that is Nekoda Kennedy, a.k.a Kody. She has an interest in Nick that is not all teenage lovey-dovey and it involves so much more than meets the eye. Kenyon also ups the ante with a few plot twists that really infuses this series with major possibilities for Nick's character development. It gives a new perspective for the future of Nick and one that really excites me. It was an element in this book that caught me by surprise, next to the well-paced flow of the story it was something that held my undivided attention. The dialogues between Acheron and Nick are some of the best in this book but I must admit, I got lots of snappy bantering and humorous dialogues between a multitude of characters like only Sherrilyn Kenyon can deliver.
Next to meeting all the characters, getting all sorts of titillating information about Nick, the great interaction and humor, it is the zombie plotline that was probably the least thing that interested me. It is the origin of how teenager's got turned in to zombies that was just lost to me and I just couldn't surrender myself to that fact, which was probably a glitch of the adult me. What it did do is provide a turn of events which introduced Nick to a whole new world, he finds out all sorts of background info on some of the golden boys at his school and even some of his friends. Bubba and Mark are probably some of the most prominent supportive characters whose view on life and fighting zombies will make you grin.
If young adult readers find themselves introduced to Kenyon's characters and world in INFINITY then I think they will have a blast. Nothing is present to really make the reader think they're missing something, everything is present; from a main character who alternates his humor, sarcasm and charm with also his teenage fears, confusions and hopes for the future. A plot arc that fascinates and many characters who add their own personality flavor. A huge entertainment factor for me was to meet characters like Nick, Acheron, Tabitha and Kyrian again but I was caught off guard by how the story kept me in its grip. I couldn't stop reading and while I started at night, you can bet by the next evening I was finished, already contemplating how things would advance in future installments.
INFINITY was the kind of story where I expected nothing but turned out to be a surprising and highly entertaining read. Some YA elements might not catch on with me but I feel that Sherrilyn Kenyon set-up a dynamic and intriguing angle to one of the most beloved characters in the Dark-Hunter series. I'm confident Nick will find its way to many readers, both in the YA genre as for the fans of the DH series.