My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amid the governmental warnings, “Do Not Panic,” “Remain Calm,” “Take Shelter,” and “Wait For Further Instructions,” seemingly-nice citizens of an urban metropolis start killing each other. It’s only a few incidents at first, but the violence escalates and the killers are dubbed “Haters” by the media.
Fear is the order of the day as people are slaughtered by strangers, friends, co-workers, and family. The Haters kill with whatever they have: guns, knives, rocks, their bare hands. Frenzied attacks become more and more commonplace. And in the life of Danny McCoyne, family man and man without ambition, protecting his family becomes increasingly important.
It seems pretty cut and dry as the reader tears through the pages of the novel to get to the truth: “who are the Haters…?” And at the end, do we really know? For some of us, yes.
Dubbed “brutal” and “eerie and violent,” the dark and controversial Hater is definitely not for the weak of stomach. Me? I’ve got the constitution of a person who has read and watched horror for more than 4 decades. I was weaned on Bela Lugosi films and grew up with Stephen King novels. A friend once said – because it is rare that something like this scares me – that I must be “dead inside.”
With that said, Hater did not scare me or put me on a “head-spinning thrill ride” (Guillermo del Toro), but it did give me pause and made me think of our world and what we do to one another in the name of religion, patriotism, democracy, and peace. And I sit here contemplating (as many of us do – and have) who are the Haters? If nothing else, this book will give the reader another launching point in considering the state of our world – and the future of humankind.
The first of (at least) 4 books, the Hater series seems destined to offer nightmares, start important conversations, and (minimally) keep the reader glued to their seat (or bed pillow) until the end.