I just finished Generation Dead last night and I can tell you that the book is not what I expected, it was much better! After reading the blurb I thought, I will give this a try to have a wee break from all the vampire fiction I have been reading and I can tell you I was blown away.
Waters creates such a realistic world, with such realistic characters and real problems that I often found myself amagining that the possibility of the dead coming back to life could maybe one day, actually happen.
It's Amercia and Waters writes in the here and now so that you can relate it to your own time, instead of making the mistake like so many writers do; of setting it in the future. This sets up for the phenomenon of the story; that teenagers all over America are coming back to life after recently dying. It sounds far fetched but Waters writes such a convincing world of simplicity and realisticness of the 'differntly biotic' kids and the prejudice towards them, present in human nature, that you can not help but be drawn in to this belief. It is set up so compellingy and convincingly, that if this were to happen today, I believe it would not be so different from what Waters writes in this book.
Tommy is different from some of the undead kids by his sheer determination to lead a normal life after dying and coming back as what the book labells them as 'differently biotic/zombies'. He joins the football team and attracts the interest of Phoebe; who the book names as a 'traditionally biotic' person ie. one who has not died and come back to life. Phoebe, is without a doubt one of my favourite characters, she is goth chick girl, loves goth music and likes to wear black along with her bff Margi. Phoebe is attracted to Tommy in a way that none of the other 'normal' kids at her school are. She feels symapthetic towards them and she soon develops a relationship with Tommy which comes with a price tag.
My other favourite character is that of Adam, the guy who used to think coolness was what life was all about but then some karate and a summer to think about things has changed him; for the better. He no longer wants deny that he has feelings for Phoebe, his neighbour and some what best friend and he no longer wants to be part of the 'pain crew' who get their name from inflicting pain on their enemies in the school football team. To Pete, the some what leader of this 'crew', this comes as a shock and he doesnt like the new threat to his status as well as the new kid Tommy joining the football team. Pete is a central and key figure in the hate campaign against the 'differently biotic' kids and its his hatred and prejudice which drives the book towards its shocking ending.
The ending was not expected which always makes for a nice surprise and it leaves you wanting to know what happens next. I could not wait, and despite only finishing this last night, I went and bought the second book: Kiss of Life today and have started reading it already!