Infinity: Chronicles of Nick Summary
Nick Gautier is just your average fourteen-year-old boy in New Orleans. And by "average," we mean he has super-secret special powers, and the fate of the world rests on his shoulders.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. The prologue alludes to Nick's supreme powers, but in the first chapter we learn he's unpopular, poor, and miserable. It's not a very illustrious start for a potential superhero, but this is an origin story, so you've got to start at the bottom.
Nick's life starts to change for the better when goes out hustling with three of his friends. The friends decide to mug a tourist couple for money. Nick honorably steps in to stop his so-called friends…who turn against him, beating him on the pavement and turning their gun on him.
Nick is rescued by a mysterious man named Kyrian Hunter. He's not just mysterious; he's also loaded. When Nick wakes up in the hospital, Kyrian offers to pay his hospital bills and let him work off what he owes. Almost getting beaten death is an atypical job interview, but hey, whatever works in this economy.
In the hospital, Nick is attended to a by a cute girl from his school, Nekoda. Nick doesn't know it, but Nekoda has been sent to monitor him. If he starts to turn evil, she's supposed to kill him. Does she get college credit for that?
After recovering, Nick tries to return to school, but school is canceled. Why is it canceled? Busted water pipes? Bomb threat? Snow?
None of the above. It's zombies.
Allegedly, one student went crazy and tried to eat another one. With an unexpected free day from school, Nick spends his afternoon with his friend Bubba, who owns an ammo store and conveniently teaches zombie defense courses. That's where you want to be if zombies attack.
Guess we should say when zombies attack.
That afternoon, Nick reports to his first day of work with Kyrian. What's the job? We're not sure. Nick might be running errands? Or making appointments? He's basically a glorified personal assistant. But his orientation is interrupted when more zombie-like possessed students attack. You never find just one zombie.
Nick is defended by a young man with demonic powers named Acheron Parthenopaeus. Oh, did we say young? Yeah, he only looks young. When he drives Nick home, Acheron reveals that he's over 11,000 years old. We're not sure what his secret is, but it probably involves drinking lots of water, staying out of the sun, and maybe devouring the occasional soul or two.
Later that night, Nick visits his mom at the strip club where she works. Did we mention that Nick's mom's a stripper? She's a stripper. On the way home, Nick is attacked by his classmate, Stone Blakemoor, in an alleyway. He doesn't give a reason, but a guy named Stone doesn't need a reason.
Nick is defended by another classmate, Caleb Malphas. Caleb and Nick decide to go to Bubba's shop, where he's teaching a zombie defense course.
At Bubba's, the boys see Nick's lab partner, Madaug St. James. Madaug reveals that he created a computer game that can brainwash people and cause them to exhibit zombie behavior. He did it to stop people from bullying him, but now it's gotten out of control. Oops.
Bubba rounds up his friends, who decide to patrol for zombies. Nick accompanies them for a bit before he decides to split off on his own. If he had ever seen a horror movie, he'd know that this is a bad idea. Unsurprisingly, Nick is attacked by a weird shapeshifter. Who will come to his rescue this time? Batman? Spider-Man? Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law?
Birdman is the closest answer. A mysterious raven swoops down and bestows Nick with magical kung-fu powers. Nick kicks the shapeshifter a few times, and it runs away. The majority of New Orleans's population must live in dark alleyways, because now someone else pops out of a dark alley to introduce himself to Nick. This guy says he's Nick's Uncle Ambrose, the only being Nick can trust.
Then he disappears. Nice to meet you, too.
Overwhelmed with weirdness, Nick passes out. When he wakes up, he is being attended to by Simi, Acheron's demon companion. Zombies approach, and Simi distracts them while Nick and Caleb, who suddenly reappears, run for Bubba's shop.
Nick tells Bubba he can't kill the zombies, because they're not really zombies—they're humans exhibiting zombie-like behaviors. Um. Anyway, Bubba battles the zombies-not-zombies with a cattle prod and learns that electric shocks turn their brains back to normal.
With a small segment of the new zombie population under control, the group is relieved. Nick is still worried for his mother's safety, so Bubba and the gang fetch her from the club to protect her. She doesn't want to go with them, because strip shift isn't over yet, so Bubba naturally shoots her with a tranquilizer dart and drags her to Kyrian's house, where she'll be safe.
Maybe it isn't the zombies she needs to worry about.
Madaug gets a call that his mother and little brother have gone missing. The crew goes to Madaug's house to check out the crime scene. It looks like zombies took the fam. The cute girl from Nick's school, Nekoda, shows up to see what the hubbub is. Nick flirts with her, and she kisses him on the cheek. Caleb warns Nick that Nekoda is dangerous. Is he jealous, or does he know about her promise to kill him if he turns evil?
We don't know, because the gang learns that Madaug has gone off to rescue his family solo. Bad idea. Bubba and his crew get into the car to chase him. In the car, Nick is visited by Ambrose, who is apparently only visible to Nick. Ambrose knows a lot about Nick's future and warns him to never turn evil and always protect the ones he loves.
Easier said than done, maybe?
Ambrose gives Nick a magical sword and a book and disappears. Just in time, too, because Bubba's car is hit with something and flips over. Nick tries to escape the wreckage, but he's carried away by flying monsters and stowed in a cage.
The shapeshifter from the alleyway turns out to be something called a mortent, and she has captured Nick to turn him evil. Her plan is to have Nick play Madaug's game, which will lather him into a murderous rage. She has all his friends in another cage, where they will be easy pickings for rabid Nick.
Nick plays the brainwashing game and almost kills Stone, his bully, but snaps himself out of it by reminding himself to be good.
Well, that was easy.
The mortent leader flees and everyone is safe. Nick asks Nekoda out for a beignet date, and she says yes. Who would say no to beignets?
Bubba drops Nick off at Kyrian's house, where they left his mom. She tells Nick that they're now living with Kyrian. Nick catches a glimpse of Kyrian yawning and realizes that Kyrian has fangs. Mo' money, mo' monster problems.
"Here we go again" (Epilogue.38), thinks Nick.
- We're not sure who is narrating, but he or she wonders if free will is "the greatest gift bestowed upon humanity" (Prologue.2) or "a crap myth" (Prologue.3).
- What our narrator believes is that "choice is our free will" (Prologue.5), meaning that your fate is always going to be the same, but you can choose how you eventually get there.
- To close this philosophical prologue, our narrator says he "curse[s] the day I ever called Acheron Parthenopaeus my friend" (Prologue.13) because friends don't let friends have such unpronounceable last names.
- Also, he says, "I am Nick Gautier. And this is my life and how things should have been…" (Prolgoue.14-Prologue.15).
- Here we go. It's going to be like the 50s TV show This Is Your Life—but with more demons.
- Nick Gautier says, "I am a socially awkward mandork" (1.1), and his mother gets up in his grill for using such bad language.
- Um, has this lady seen Sixteen Candles? Does she know how teenagers talk?
- Nick is upset because his family is poor and his mom can only afford to buy really ugly shirts. He dreads going to school, where everyone makes fun of him. The ugly shirts only give them more ammo.
- After breakfast—at least they can afford bacon—Nick rushes for the streetcar to ride to school. He worries about being late. Even his teachers seem to hate him for being a "scholarship kid at this snotty over-privileged school" (1.50).
- At school, Nick turns out to be right. Everyone makes fun of him for his shirt, his shoes, and his sweat, as if rich kids in New Orleans have the power not to perspire.
- One of the biggest bullies, in bullying power if not physical size, is Stone Blakemore.
- Stone insults Nick's mother, saying he saw her naked last night when she was stripping. "She's got a nice set of—" (1.76). Uh huh.
- Nick cuts Stone off by whacking him in the head with his backpack, and a fight is on.
- A teacher breaks up the fight, and Nick is dragged away to the principal's office.
- Waiting in the office is a beautiful girl named Nekoda Kennedy, who goes by Kody. She's new to the ninth grade, Nick's grade, and she considers Nick to be a friendly face.
- Stone hits on Kody, who shoots him down, saying it looks his mom does all his clothing shopping for him. Considering Nick's mom also picked out his clothes, he shouldn't find this as funny as he does.
- Kody says she likes Nick because he's "a real lone wolf" and not "a pack animal" (1.110). She must really love going to the zoo.
- Nick is called into the principal's office, and Mr. Peters calls Nick's mother. He drops a big bomb: Nick is suspended for the week.
- Nick knows his mother will be devastated.
- Nick retrieves his things from his locker and is escorted off campus, in shame, by a security guard.
- A girl named Brynna offers to take Nick's homework to him later. That's sweet.
- At home, Nick's mother is definitely upset with him. She is disappointed and afraid he will become a "no-account criminal" just like his father (1.187).
- Sad that he has disappointed his mother, Nick goes to his room.
- Nick can hear his mother crying from her bedroom.
- Inside, Nick is angry with Stone. He plans to one day get out of this poverty-stricken "hellhole. Even if he had to kill someone to do it" (1.194). Yikes. We guess he won't be hanging a cross-stitched Hellhole Sweet Hellhole picture on his wall.
- Later that night, Nick goes to his part-time job at an undescribed shop.
- After work, Nick visits his mom at her work.
- Remember how mad Nick got that Stone insinuated his mom was a stripper?
- She's actually a stripper.
- Nick apologizes to his mom again, but she is still mad at him. She tells him to go home.
- On the way home, Nick bumps into three of his friends—Tyree, Alan, and Mike. They're hustlers, and they have a job for Nick that will net him a couple hundred bucks.
- We're not sure what hustling normally entails for Nick, but tonight things are different.
- Tyree, Alan, and Mike mug a couple of tourists at gunpoint. Nick is shocked, and he jumps in to stop them.
- Alan turns on Nick, hitting him with the gun and beating him with it.
- Being pistol-whipped is never fun, but it's got to be better than being shot, right?
- Uh-oh. Alan points the gun at Nick and puts his finger on the trigger. Just as the chapter ends. Noooooooooo.
- Nick is beaten so severely that he can't move and can't stop Alan from firing the gun. But he doesn't have to stop him. A blur rushes out of the darkness and sends Alan and his cronies flying through the sky.
- It's not hurricane season, but these winds in New Orleans are strong.
- It turns out not to be the wind. It's a blond man who seems to have super strength and super powers. Thanks, blondie.
- Nick blacks out, and the man, whose name is Kyrian Hunter, carries Nick to the hospital.
- In the waiting room, Kyrian bumps into Acheron, "an eleven-thousand-year-old omnipotent immortal" (2.33) who doesn't look much older than eighteen. What moisturizer does he use?
- Acheron appears to know who Nick is, even though he's never met the kid before.
- Acheron says he'll take patrol while Kyrian looks after Nick. What a philanthropist.
- Nick wakes up with his arm in a sling because he was actually shot in the shoulder. Ouch.
- Nick's mother rushes in and immediately starts yelling at him.
- Kyrian defends Nick, saying the accident wasn't Nick's fault. He informs Nick's mother that Nick got hurt trying to protect a pair of innocent tourists. That'll redeem Nick in his mother's eyes.
- And yep, Mom calls Nick a "hero" (2.85). But she's still worried about paying for the hospital bills.
- Kyrian offers to foot the bill, because he's loaded.
- Nick's mother is too proud to take this offer, so Kyrian suggests that Nick work for him to pay off the bill.
- Nick is suspicious, wondering what kind of work this man would make him do.
- But it's nothing demeaning. No, Kyrian only wants Nick to run errands.
- Nick takes the job.
- Everyone leaves Nick in his hospital room to rest, but he can't sleep.
- Instead, Nick plots revenge against Alan, the street rat who did this to him.
- Nick gets a special visitor in the hospital: Kody.
- Not only is Kody a hot new girl, but she is charitable, too, volunteering at the hospital twice a week.
- Kody brings Nick some Dune novels and some comic books to help him pass the time, but what Nick really wants to keep himself occupied are video games.
- Nick falls asleep after Kody leaves. When he wakes up, he finds a present: a pink Nintendo.
- A Nintendo what? Game Boy? 3DS? Virtual Boy?
- Nick's pretty sure Kody likes him, because you don't just lend out your system to anyone.
- The chapter POV changes to Kody talking to Sraosha, "her guide and mentor" (3.30). Does he guide her on how to pronounce his name?
- Sraosha tells Kody that Nick is a "Malachai" (3.74), some type of creature that is normally dark and evil.
- But Nick isn't evil. Yet.
- Kody's job is to keep Nick from turning evil. If she fails, she'll have to kill him. And we don't mean in a video game.
- Nick returns home from the hospital.
- Nick's mom and her friend Menyara have bought him a welcome home cake. It's chocolate. They also bought him a Street Fighter video game.
- Mmm, Nick should get almost shot in the face more often if he gets a Street Fighter game as a reward. Unless it's Street Fighter V. That one isn't worth stubbing your toe for.
- After cake, Menyara warns Nick that working for Kyrian will "change" him. But "hopefully for the better" (4.36). She still wants him to be careful around Kyrian.
- When the party is over, Nick plays with Kody's Nintendo and worries about returning to school. He wants to ask Kody out, but he doesn't want to face all the other jerks at his school. At least he gets leftover cake for breakfast the morning. Breakfast of champions.
- Nick gets a surprise visitor at the door. This is becoming a common occurrence for him.
- This time it isn't Kody. It's Brynna Adams, who has brought Nick his homework.
- Nick tells us that Kody is hotter. But Brynna offers him a ride to school, so he takes it. They ride to school with Brynna's brother, Tad, and another girl, Casey.
- At school, though, the gang gets some crazy news.
- The police are there, having shut the school down because one student tried to eat another one.
- This is why we need to reform the school lunch program.
- All the students are gathered nearby, spreading gossip about what happened.
- Nick catches sight of his lab partner, Madaug St. James. He seems to be in shock about the cannibalism incident.
- The gang soon gets approached by one of Nick's adult friends, Big Bubba Burdette, who owns an ammo store.
- Bubba heard there were zombies on the loose, and he's ready for some zombie huntin'.
- The cops soon emerge from the school with Brian Murrey, the zombie in question.
- But Brian looks surprisingly fresh-faced and non-decayed for an alleged zombie.
- Bubba wonders if Brian has been infected with some sort of bio-terrorist chemical.
- It's not over. A kid screams out that the coach just ate the principal.
- It seems Nick goes to Sunnydale High. He's secretly excited that his mean principal was devoured by a zombie.
- As if this day couldn't get any better, school is canceled. Free day.
- Bubba asks Nick if he wants to come to his shop.
- Nick goes to get his backpack from Tad's car and overhears Tad talking about Dark-Hunters, werebeasts, and Daimons, and we don't mean Wayans.
- Tad tells Nick that he's talking about a video game.
- Nick thinks that's weird, but he doesn't press further.
- Nick does worry that Kody wasn't at school that day, and he hopes a zombie didn't eat her. Remember: "A zombie ate me" isn't normally an excuse that will go over well at school.
- At Bubba's shop, Nick does some online research on zombies. As one does.
- But Nick's interrupted when a babe in a halter top named Tabitha comes in looking for Bubba to sharpen her steel stakes. Not a metaphor. She's like a stainless steel Buffy.
- Tabitha drops off the stakes and leaves.
- Someone else enters the shop, but it's not a customer. It's Madaug, also looking for Bubba.
- Nick informs Madaug that Bubba is sleeping.
- Madaug says it's really important that he speak with Bubba when he gets up, and he leaves.
- One more person enters this shop. Actually three. And they're definitely not customers.
- It's three members of the school football team, and they're sniffing the air like drug dogs.
- They're looking for a "nerd boy" (5.84). Sheldon Cooper isn't there, so the football players attack Nick.
- Nick grabs an ax to defend himself. He swings it around a bit like a dizzy lumberjack before Bubba shows up and scares the football players off with a shotgun. He attempts to shoot one in the head, but Nick pushes the barrel out of the way.
- Nick hates his classmates, but he doesn't want their brains splattered all over the wall, and not just because Bubba would probably make him clean it up.
- Bubba doesn't understand why these living people are acting like zombies.
- Most bokors—people who summon zombies—use corpses. Well, we appear to be dealing with something else.
- Bubba wonders who "Zombie Zero" (5.125) is—that is, the first one to change.
- Bubba's business partner, Mark, returns to the shop right before the cops arrive, checking out a report of a shotgun going off.
- Mark tends to Nick's wounds while Bubba talks to the police officer.
- As if talking about zombies wasn't enough, Mark is worried about werewolves, too.
- Nick remembers that Madaug was looking for Bubba, and they wonder if he might have something to do with the zombie outbreak.
- Madaug won't answer the phone. And he said it was an emergency.
- Nick and company assume Madaug was eaten by the jocks. We've heard of jocks threatening to pound geeks into hamburger meat, but not literally.
- Nick realizes he's late for work with Kyrian, so he runs outside.
- A man in a black BMW is outside waiting for Nick. He says he's to take Nick to Kyrian's house.
- Nick is suspicious: "I don't trust nobody" (6.31), he says, strangely lapsing into bad grammar. Psst, Nick, that double negative means you actually trust someone.
- The man, Mr. Poitiers, calls Kyrian to prove it.
- Nick wants the voice on the phone to prove that he is Kyrian, so Kyrian tells him that he knows Nick was helping his friends mug the tourists before he saved them. Le gasp.
- Mr. Poitiers drives Nick to a huge elaborate house in New Orleans's Garden District. At the door, they're greeted by Rosa, the housekeeper.
- Rosa leads Nick to Kyrian's office, where Kyrian is waiting for him.
- Nick calls his mom and tells her that everything is okay.
- Now it's time for work. But Nick still wonders why Kyrian is letting him work for him.
- "I believe in you, Nick. You remind me of a kid I knew once" (6.138).
- Long story short: that kid was Kyrian himself.
- Nick agrees to work for Kyrian and is shown to his office. Yes, an errand boy with an office. And his own computer.
- To top it all off, Nick will be paid a thousand a week, and he gets a paid-for cellphone. Um, how do we get that job?
- Kyrian dismisses Nick and tells him to wander around the house until later.
- Nick tries to call Madaug on his shiny new cellphone, but there's still no answer.
- Instead, Nick visits the kitchen, where Rosa is making a delicious gumbo.
- Snack time is interrupted, though, when more rabid football players show up and tackle Nick. They must really want some of that gumbo.
- Rosa isn't a helpless housekeeper. She fights off the intruders with a sharp knife.
- Nick joins in, fending off the jocks with a cooking pan.
- Nick and Rosa are soon cornered, but they're rescued when a bright light flashes and a tall man appears.
- Rosa calls the dude Acheron. He is wearing all black, including a black backpack and a black T-shirt with a glowing skull on it. There must have been a clearance sale at Hot Topic.
- Acheron knows Nick all right, because he "know[s] lots of things" (7.18). Very informative.
- Nick is weirded out that neither of these people is weirded out, although why someone who just teleported into the kitchen would be weirded out by zombies, we're not sure.
- Nick watches as Acheron wipes Rosa's memory of what just happened, and Nick decides to run for the door.
- Acheron blocks him, but he's no longer in human form. He's a big fanged demon.
- The ghastly image only appears for a second before Acheron appears human again.
- Acheron is surprised that his mind-melding magic doesn't work on Nick.
- The point of view briefly shifts to Acheron, who quietly wonders who or what Nick is, and how Nick can see his true form and evade his powers.
- Kyrian interrupts this little standoff to formally introduce the two.
- A deep voice echoes in Nick's head telling him to stay away from Acheron, but he doesn't have a choice right now. Kyrian and Acheron lead Nick back to the kitchen for dinner.
- After dinner, Acheron, now called Ash, drives Nick home.
- What happened to that voice telling Nick to stay away from Ash? Nick totally forgets, we guess, because Ash drives a "Friggin' Porsche 911 Turbo" (8.1). Is Friggin' the make or the model?
- On the way home, Ash reveals that he's over 11,000 years old, immortal because he's "owned by a goddess" (8.37).
- No, he isn't one of Ariana Grande's bodyguards. He's referring to Artemis, goddess of the hunt.
- At home, Nick tells his mother to quit her stripping job. Nick is now officially making enough money to support them both.
- Nick's mom worries that Kyrian is having Nick do illegal stuff, but he assures her that he isn't.
- Nick's mom that says if Nick keeps the job for a couple weeks, she'll see about finding a new job herself.
- When it's time for Mom to go to the club, Nick decides to go with her. He's afraid she will be hurt by all the zombies out and about.
- Nick and his mom arrive at the club safely, and Nick decides to visit Ms. Liza, his old employer. She asks him how the job with Kyrian is going. He says it's going well, and he escorts Ms. Liza to do her bank deposit.
- After Ms. Liza drops off the cash, Nick returns to his mom's club, but before he arrives, something rushes out of an alley and knocks him down. Ouch.
- The person who attacked Nick turns out to be the bully football player, Stone Blakemoor.
- You could say Nick is between a stone and hard place.
- Nick and Stone's struggle is broken up when Caleb Malphas emerges from the shadows.
- Nick acts like we're supposed to know who this is, but this is the first time Caleb has ever been mentioned.
- Caleb sends Stone off, saying that "the animal in your is no match for the demon in me" (9.16). We doubt he's speaking in metaphor.
- Then Caleb tells Nick that Bubba and Mark are putting on a Zombie Defense class, and they decide to go together.
- Nick is suspicious. Caleb has never been mean to him before, but he's never been nice, either.
- Caleb explains, "My enemy's enemy is my friend" (9.36). But he won't say who is enemy is. Some explanation.
- Nick calls his mom to tell her he's going to Bubba's, and off he goes with Caleb.
- At Bubba's shop, Madaug is there. And boy, does he have new to share. He created the zombies.
- How did Madaug do it? He created a video game called Zombie Hunter, and anyone who plays it turns into a zombie.
- "A specific sequence of light and sound can actually alter brain waves" (9.144), he explains. O rly.
- Well, whatever—we believe the guy. It almost worked for Pokémon, after all.
- Madaug wanted to reprogram Brian, Zombie Zero, to stop bullying him. He didn't know it would turn Brian into a zombie.
- But that doesn't explain why so many people have become zombies so quickly.
- Speak of the devil, zombies attack.
- Oh, wait, false alarm. Banging at the door is a group of zombie hunters: Tabitha, the babe from before, and Eric, Madaug's brother.
- Our heroes arm themselves with weapons from Bubba's shop to fight zombies.
- Nick heads on patrol with everyone else, but he soon separates from the group, because he's clearly never seen a horror movie before ever.
- Sure enough, Nick's soon attacked by Kirstie Alley.
- Oh, sorry, we meant that Nick is attacked in an alley, just like at the end of the last chapter.
- Nick, stay away from alleys.
- This time, Nick isn't attacked by a football player. He's attacked by something scarier: a tiny little girl.
- Yeah, well, the girl grows fangs and shoots up to over six feet tall. Okay, she's legit scary.
- This time, Nick is rescued by some sort of magical raven that swoops down, touches him, and gives him magical powers.
- Nick fights off the monsters with a "perfect sotobiraki jigo hontai dachi stance" (10.31) Uh, is that like the crane kick from Karate Kid? And how did he learn this?
- The raven flies away, nevermore!, and Nick returns to normal.
- A man appears in front of Nick, out of nowhere. We're losing track of how many men just pop out of thin air.
- This one introduces himself as Nick's Uncle Ambrose.
- Ambrose says he's "the only being [Nick will] ever be able to trust" (10.53). All right?
- For some reason, Nick mentions Nekoda, and Ambrose is disturbed that he doesn't know who she is. He's supposed to know everything.
- Ambrose disappears, and Nick passes out. So much for being able to trust him.
- Our point of view shifts to that of the raven. Not the one from the Poe poem.
- The raven visits Adarian Malachi, Nick's birth father, in prison.
- The raven is actually Caleb, who is a shapeshifter, and he's bound to do Adarian's will for some unknown reason.
- Adarian wants Caleb to turn his son evil and make sure no harm comes to his mother. Yeah, well, we hope he pays Caleb better than Kyrian pays Nick for picking up his groceries.
- Nick is woken up by a girl named Siri—sorry, Simi.
- Well, Simi looks like a human female, but she talks strangely—like, she calls Nick "Mr. Boy Human" (12.13)—and has red eyes, so she's probably not human.
- Nick and Simi don't have time to make proper introductions, because zombies show up. How rude.
- Our point of view shifts to Ian St. James, Madaug's younger brother.
- Ian sneaks into Madaug's room to play video games.
- Ian is interrupted—there are lots of rude interruptions in this chapter—by, you guessed it, a zombie at the door.
- Hey, at least this zombie was nice enough to knock.
- After answering the door, Ian runs for his mother, who bashes the zombie with a frying pan.
- Ian and his mom head to the door to escape, but there are more zombies on the porch. We hope Mom can wield dual frying pans.
- With another POV shift, we're with raven-Caleb, who is flying to Nick's rescue.
- And by "rescue," we mean he changes into a human near Nick and runs.
- Simi, the demon girl, distracts the zombies so that Caleb and Nick can get away.
- Nick and Caleb reach Bubba, who is zapping zombies with a giant cattle prod.
- Our heroes make a shocking (literally) discovery: when zapped, the "zombies" return to normal teenagers.
- Bubba zaps all the attackers and interrogates them. None of them remembers playing Madaug's video game. So how did they become zombies?
- For some reason, Madaug wants to zap Brian, the person who definitely played his game, to see if he returns to normal.
- But to do that, our heroes need to break into jail, where Brian is. Who wants to break into jail? There's no "Get Into Jail Free Card," right?
- After fighting some zombies, Nick takes a steaming hot shower.
- But something else is steaming: Nick's mom. She's so angry steam is coming out of her ears.
- At least that's what we assume. She's yelling so much we can hear her on the phone from here.
- Nick apologizes for being late and says that Bubba will bring him to the club soon.
- "Soon" meaning "after we break into prison and zap someone with a cattle prod."
- That turns out to be pretty easy.
- Caleb calls a friend of his, Virgil Ward, who "owes [him] a favor" (14.44).
- Virgil appears to be a lawyer, and not in the stereotypical lawyers-are-bloodsuckers way, either.
- Virgil does the job easily. The guards appear to think the giant cattle prod he's carrying is an umbrella.
- When he emerges, Virgil says Brian is back to normal.
- Virgil also tells Caleb "you seriously owe me" (13.105). Wait, who owes whom the favor here?
- With Brian back to normal, none of our questions get answered. Why are there so many zombies?
- Meanwhile, we shift point of view to Uncle Ambrose, who seems actually to be Nick from the future.
- Ambrose is trying to prevent Nick from becoming evil like himself and destroying everyone he loved. Yeah, that would stink.
- Nick gets ready to go to his mom's club—when zombies attack.
- But this time, they're real zombies. Rotting. Stinky. Crusty old zombies.
- Our heroes fight off the zombies from inside the store, but when Madaug fires a rocket launcher (how did he learn how to do that?) and blows up the storefront, the inside of the store becomes the outside.
- Acheron and Kyrian conveniently show up to help evacuate our heroes from the store.
- Nick wants to rescue his mom, so they zip over to the club first to protect her.
- Nick's mom doesn't want to go with them, so Bubba shoots her with a tranquilizer dart and puts her into the SUV. Kids, don't shoot your mom with a tranq at home.
- Before reaching Kyrian's house, Bubba gets a call from Madaug's older brother. He tells them that his mother and little brother are missing.
- Madaug wants to go check it out.
- The cops are at Madaug's house, and the kitchen is torn up and bloody. Clearly, Mom wasn't just making pancakes.
- While everyone is hanging around Madaug's house, Nekoda shows up. Nick is happy to see her.
- Nick tells Kody it's dangerous out there, and she thinks it's sweet that he's trying to protect her. She kisses him on the cheek.
- Kody leaves, and Caleb warns Nick to stay away from her. "Girls ain't nothing but trouble" (14.262).
- But Nick loves trouble.
- "That girl is your death" (14.265), Caleb elaborates. That's a little extreme, don't you think?
- But then Nick has a vision of Kody driving a literal sword through his heart. Um, envisioning your date murdering you is a big red flag.
- Our point of view shifts to Madaug, who is upset. Everyone's life is ruined because of him.
- Yeah, that's a valid reason to be upset.
- Madaug is visited by a mist that tells him to come to the St. Louis Cemetery, where he can rescue his family.
- We guess the mist seems trustworthy, because Madaug sneaks a scooter from the garage and scoots off.
- Nick gets a psychic mental image of Madaug scooting away, but before he can say anything, more zombies show up.
- Bubba gets everyone into the SUV and speeds away.
- In the car, Nick informs Bubba that they need to go find Madaug—and get ready to kick some rotten zombie butt.
- In the car, Nick sees Caleb's form change. Not into a raven, but into a "daeva. A midlevel class of demon" (16.5). Yeah, we totally know what that looks like.
- Ambrose, who seems to be speaking directly into Nick's head, tells him that not all demons are bad.
- Ambrose also informs Nick that he can trust Caleb. He also tells Nick that the bad guys are "mortents" (16.21), which includes that scary fanged girl in the alley.
- The mortents want to use Madaug's video game to control the living.
- That sounds like a solid bad guy plan.
- Ambrose warns Nick never to turn evil, because then he will hurt everyone he loves.
- Ambrose tells Nick that in order to beat the bad guys, he'll have to learn to take control of the zombies.
- Um, that sounds kind of evil, but whatever, dude.
- Ambrose appears in the car and gives Nick a dagger, which can change size to however Nick imagines it. It can be a letter opener or a scimitar, depending on what Nick wants.
- Ambrose evaporates as Bubba pulls into Kyrian's driveway.
- Half Nick's class is in the driveway, and Nick learns that a lot of kids he goes to school with, including Tad, are "Dark-Hunters." They hunt dark things. They're forming a plan to fight the zombies.
- Nick goes inside Kyrian's house, where Bubba has already carried his mom to a bedroom.
- Ambrose is there, and he gives Nick a grimoire.
- To use the book, Nick must prick his finger and put his blood on the page. The book will then tell him what to do. Does it also monitor his blood glucose?
- Bubba rounds everyone up and tells them where to go. He's been tracking Madaug through the GPS on his cell phone.
- Nick gets into the SUV with Bubba, Caleb, and Alex Peltier, one of Tad's friends, who is a werebear. That's fun to say out loud. Werebear.
- As they drive off, Bubba says "to infinity" (16.215), which is something his dad used to say.
- Is Bubba's dad Buzz Lightyear?
- Before Nick can comment, something slams into the SUV. We hope they're all buckled in.
- The SUV flips over, and everyone is stuck inside.
- Caleb loses his human appearance and instead looks like a red demon with snake eyes.
- Caleb, the weakest demon ever, is struggling to undo his seatbelt.
- Alex explains that something has locked their powers, and he can't undo his seatbelt, either.
- Maybe this car just has crazy-good safety features.
- Caleb manages to kick his way out and drag Nick with him.
- But soon, demons attack.
- Nick asks his little book what to do, and it tells him to run, so he runs.
- Bad idea. The demons grab Nick and pin him to the ground.
- Before Nick passes out, Bubba's SUV explodes. Bubba goes boom.
- Nick wakes up in a tiny cell.
- Nick has a cellmate. Not a big burly man, but Madaug's tiny little brother, Ian.
- Nick swears he'll get them out.
- Nick asks his little book for help, which he is able to do because the demons did not frisk him and so left him with his magic book and sword. Stupid demons.
- The book just sasses Nick, without giving him concrete answers about what to do.
- Nick and Ian are still in the cell when the bad guys show up: a tall black blob and a tiny woman.
- The woman wants Nick to kill Ian, which Nick refuses to do.
- The woman realizes that Nick isn't an evil Malachai yet, but she plans to change that.
- The woman leads Nick and Ian to a room where Madaug, his brother, his mother, Tabitha, and Stone are being held in a cage.
- The woman forces Nick to play Madaug's zombie video game, which instantly turns him evil. We feel the same way when we play Candy Crush.
- On the evil woman's command, Nick rushes the cage to kill all his friends.
- Nick decides to kill Stone first, because Stone is a bully.
- Nick presses the tip of his sword to Stone's neck, and Stone wets his pants.
- The mortent leader urges Nick to kill Stone and "command the respect of everyone you meet" (18.17).
- Nick realizes that he doesn't want to earn respect by killing people. He wants to earn it by being just. We didn't know he actually had a choice here, given that he been zombified, but hey, good choice.
- Nick turns against the mortents, throwing their sword at them.
- The demons command Tabitha, Eric, and Madaug to attack Nick, because they know he won't hurt them.
- Nick wonders if he can conjure electricity to snap everyone out of it. Sure enough, he can.
- A bolt of lightning zaps Madaug…and turns him into a goat. Oops.
- Nick manages to turn Madaug back. Whew.
- But now undead zombies are joining the fray.
- Nick "fought the demons and zombies back with everything he had" (18.70). That's all the description we get. Use your imagination. Or wait for the TV show.
- Backup arrives in the form of Bubba, Mark, Caleb, Nekoda, Simi, and Alex.
- Nick is relieved that Bubba didn't blow up in his own SUV.
- Bubba uses his cattle prod to zap their friends back to normal.
- Now our heroes turn to fighting the other zombies, who are stronger than your average zombie.
- Nekoda puts up a big fight and even kisses Nick during the heat of battle.
- Um, focus on the zombies, girl.
- Nick suddenly realizes that he can control the zombies by touching them, so he touches them and commands them to die. And they all die. Who knew?
- The mortent leader and her sidekick run away and promise to get Nick again another day. You didn't even tell us your name, dude.
- Reunited and safe, everyone leaves.
- Nick works up the nerve to ask Nekoda out on a real date—coffee and beignets, the best New Orleans date—and she agrees. Will they live happily ever after?
- Our point of view shifts to Ambrose. Remember: he's Nick from the future.
- Ambrose realizes that this Nick is making different decisions from the ones he himself made, so maybe his fate will change, after all. Only time will tell.
- Bubba drops Nick off at Kyrian's house.
- Nick's mom is awake, and she's angry about everything that's happened, especially that our heroes took her from work. She's afraid that she'll be fired.
- Kyrian sweeps in and offers Nick's mom a new job at the fanciest restaurant in New Orleans. That calms her down.
- Mom tells Nick to go upstairs and go to bed.
- Yep, upstairs. Nick and his mom are living with Kyrian now.
- Nick tells Kyrian thanks as Kyrian yawns…showing a set of long, sharp fangs.
- "Oh crap…" Nick thinks. "Here we go again" (Epilogue.37-Epilogue.38).
- The end.