Passing Strange (Generation Dead #3). Daniel Waters. Hyperion. 400 pages.
I don't want to die, I thought. Not again.
Passing Strange is the third in a series. The first two are Generation Dead and Kiss of Life. As "fascinating" as I found Phoebe, our narrator, being tortured by guilt and obligation in Kiss of Life. It was a great relief to learn that she is not the narrator of Passing Strange. This isn't Phoebe's Love Triangle, part three. No, Karen Desonne is the narrator of Passing Strange. Before now, Karen has always been a mystery. Phoebe didn't always understand her. Phoebe didn't always try that hard to understand her either. Readers at last will get to know the real Karen. The Karen behind the persona.
The differently biotic are having a difficult time in Oakvale--a difficult time anywhere. There are many who consider them to be dead, to not have any legal rights--a few even consider them demons, a problem to be solved once and for all with violence. When Passing Strange opens, Karen and other zombies are being 'pursued' by police. She finds refuge in her home--in her parents' home. But she's not content to stay in hiding. No, Karen wants to be out in the world passing. She likes to pretend to be a beating heart.
But passing has its own risks. Like what will happen if she's discovered? What will her coworkers think of her deception? But Karen--perhaps not the bravest or the wisest of individuals--is finally ready to start taking risks. And the biggest risk of all? Pretending to be interested in Pete Martinsburg. Pretending to be his girlfriend. She suspects him of many anti-zombie crimes. And she wants proof...
Karen is also still trying to process what went wrong in her life--her first life. Trying to cope with her suicide and its aftermath. The depression. The secrets. The lies. The shame. Can Karen find peace?
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews