Glitch (Brighton Zombies #1) - Brenda Pandos

(I received this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

It took me some time to get and remain in the story, and I have to admit that in the end, well, I didn't like it. There were good ideas, and it started off as promising; however, after a while, everything became so disjointed that I wasn't sure anymore what I was reading, and the abrupt ending/cliffhanger just left me "wait, whut?".

The first thing I couldn't wrap my mind around was the world itself. It contains lots of elements, and seems quite rich in terms of background to exploit, but the way it was introduced didn't make much sense to me. We have zombies who may or may not exist; Sasquatches (half-human, half-animal?) whose origin is definitely unclear; and what I'm going to call a "pocket universe", a.k.a. Brighton, without any information about the rest of the world. I admit I wouldn't have been bothered so much if I had read this book some 3 years ago, but after so many dystopian stories revolving about the same theme, I can't help now but always wonder: "Is this community the only one? What about others? Don't they communicate? Do people really believe all that, and never question anything, even privately, in their own thoughts?" The Oracle part was also problematic: she's introduced around the 25% mark, as something everybody seems to know (at least, the way Abby mentions her), but I can't remember her existence being mentioned sooner, and this felt weird. Also, this:

"The EA wanted to purge blue eyes from future generations, saying they had a proclivity to disease and illness."

Why? This begged for an explanation, and we never got it. This looks like a really important element, so important that the EA goes to such lengths as to, well, spay people who might give birth to children with blue eyes. Why? Are blue eyes linked to some special power? Is some blue-eyed person born in the future, so they're trying to prevent his/her birth by removing blue eyes from the gene pool altogether? As it is, it just didn't make sense.

Some pacing problems, too. The beginning was interesting. The middle lacked in excitement (discover people outside, travel to camp, life at camp). The third part contained many time-jumps, and those were terribly confusing. I'd like to chalk said confusion to my being tired, but I'm really not sure about that. I get there are different timelines, and that there's a key moment in the past from which various futures are determined... or was the key moment sometime in the future, with a cure being found for something that happened in the present, yet it had to be brought to the past for the present to be "normal" again? The way things happened in that regard were, again, very confusing, and that part of the plot kept contradicting itself. I still have no idea how the person able to jump in time did it (claiming "I have no control", yet always conveniently arriving at the exact moment they aimed for?), nor how her powers suddenly came out, nor how she managed to sort through all those timelines. She seemed to learn that in a snap of fingers, when it's probably something anyone would need at least days of training to master—if only in their mind.

I didn't really like any of the characters. Abby: has every male character pining after her, and of course she can't decide (it's insta-love but it isn't, no, wait, it is); whiny, needy, then turning badass out of nowhere. Kaden: stop being the broody loner and TALK, because I tell you, this clears up misunderstandings in record time. Memphis: any person calling another "Sugar" from the beginning (or "babe", "baby", or whatever other "cutesy" name) makes me cringe—and the testosterone contest regarding who gets the girl gets tiring, pretty fast: I felt like smacking him every time he made moves such as sliding his arm around Abby's waist in a possessive gesture. The community: girls are at the camp, doing laundry and cooking and washing the dishes, because everyone knows they can't have any useful skills like hunting or patrolling, nor can any guy cook a meal. Decisions: everybody seems to act on a whim, sometimes out of character, and a lot of problems could have been avoided if they had just initiated basic communication, instead of puffing chests and trying to prove how manly they were. Reader not impressed here.

On the writing side: a couple of proofing problems (Complement/Compliment), that got corrected after a while, but were still annoying. Maybe they're not in the printed copy anymore, though.

Although the next book is bound to hold answers, after such a cliffhanger, I'm not interested enough to pick it.