Horror Book Review: Hater (David Moody)


David Moody is a British born author who rose to prominence with his Autumn zombie apocalypse series. A great story teller with a descriptive style that focused on the rotting of the dead & the problems that came with that. The Autumn series is a fantastic set of stories & you can read reviews for them all here.

Not one to just be telling a single story at a time, Hater, the first part in a three part series was released in 2006.

Anyone expecting a massive shift in tone or style should look elsewhere. The Hater trilogy is an apocalyptic story but one that fits more within the modern world. It also focuses on just one man (mostly) told in the first person, this is Danny McCoyne’s story.

Danny is just a man, toiling away daily in a job he hates working among people he hates. He’s short of cash & his home is too small for his family, a wife & 3 kids. He loves them all but they drive him nuts most of the time. Danny is unhappy with his life but far too lazy to do anything about it.

He’s easy to relate too as most of us can attain to having experienced at least one of his many problems.

The first quarter of the book might throw you off as we just experience the drudgery of Danny’s life. It’s a tiring read having to experience what he does daily but it works fantastically to build the characters up, to make each member of Danny’s family important so you’ll care when the shit hits the fan.

When it does, it’s gradual…reports of violence, outbreaks of fighting in towns etc. The kind of thing you’d see on the news, the kind of thing you’d ignore. That is until you see it first hand & realise that the trouble is suddenly at your door.

Called ‘Haters’ by the media, normal people suddenly turn violent & kill anyone around them, only stopping when they can’t kill anymore. It could be anyone, your mother, your father, your boss, your wife, your best friend…your child.

Once it happens, rational behaviour is gone & only the urge to kill remains. What started as isolated cases is quickly spreading & no-one knows why. Someone can be talking to you one moment & the next they are trying to cave your head in with a rock. Paranoia runs rampant throughout the country & society begins to fall apart, any act of aggression can see you quickly accused of being a ‘hater’.

We see all of this through the eyes of Danny, desperate to protect his family from the madness occurring outside but eager to understand why & how this is happening.

Hater is an excellent novel combining elements of what I loved about the Autumn series but giving much more development to characters. I care about Danny & his family’s survival & while we do occasionally focus on another person’s plight, it inevitably ends with death.

The ‘hater’ event is a much more interesting premise as it offers plenty of mystery. Why does it happen? Why not everyone? Why do those attacking seem to be doing so out of fear?

There are a lot of questions to be answered but with two more books (Dog’s Blood/Them or Us) there is plenty of time to get them all. Hater is the perfect start to another David Moody apocalyptic world.

Hater (David Moody)
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