Fiend: A Novel by Peter Stenson

Fiend: A Novel
by Peter Stenson
LENGTH: 8 hrs and 3 mins
Published by Random House Audio, 07-09-13
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Apocalyptic

Reviewed by Paul (The Audiobook Reviewer)

There's more than one kind of monster.

When Chase Daniels first sees the little girl in umbrella socks tearing open the Rottweiler, he's not too concerned. As a longtime meth addict, he's no stranger to horrifying, drug-fueled hallucinations. But as he and his fellow junkies soon discover, the little girl is no illusion. The end of the world really has arrived.

The funny thing is, Chase's life was over long before the apocalypse got here, his existence already reduced to a stinking basement apartment and a filthy mattress and an endless grind of buying and selling and using. He's lied and cheated and stolen and broken his parents' hearts a thousand times. And he threw away his only shot at sobriety a long time ago, when he chose the embrace of the drug over the woman he still loves.

And if your life's already shattered beyond any normal hopes of redemption… well, maybe the end of the world is an opportunity. Maybe it's a last chance for Chase to hit restart and become the man he once dreamed of being. Soon he's fighting to reconnect with his lost love and dreaming of becoming her hero among civilization's ruins.

But is salvation just another pipe dream?

Propelled by a blistering first-person voice and featuring a powerfully compelling antihero, Fiend is at once a riveting portrait of addiction, a pitch-black love story, and a meditation on hope, redemption, and delusion - not to mention one hell of a zombie novel.

©2013 Peter Stenson (P)2013 Random House Audio


For whatever reason I was very hesitant about listening to Fiend: A Novel, I think it had to do with reading some negative reviews about the audiobook. I tried my local library and they didn't have a copy, then I waited and waited some more. Not sure what I was waiting for, maybe a golden ticket or something. I decided to take the plunge and give it a go. I think that the publishers summary had me hooked before I knew what was happening. Intrigued by the unique aspect for the zombie apocalypse, the drug addicts view of the turmoil.

I am so glad that I gave this story a chance. I was completely engrossed by everything, from the opening scene of Chase looking out the window after a meth binge and seeing the girl eating a Rottweiler and thinking little of it. From my understanding drug addicts are already desensitized a lot already and how in the world could they survive without the dealers. I think the summary says it best, "Fiend is at once a riveting portrait of addiction, a pitch-black love story, and a meditation on hope, redemption, and delusion - not to mention one hell of a zombie novel." I particularly enjoyed the added zombie apocalypse twist of what the preventive measure was for not becoming a zombie. Fiend was a very original take within a somewhat crowded genre that was able to stand out in the crowd by its very disturbing characters that I grew to love and hate at the same time. If your looking for something different in the zombie scene you must listen to this book. The end made it seem like there could be a sequel in the future and I would more than welcome that.

I had never listened to any of Todd Haberkorn's work until now, sometimes it is easier to listen to an audiobook performed by a narrator I haven't heard in the past because its more difficult to have contempt prior to investigation. I must say that Haberkorn was able to embrace, what I would think to be difficult roles to pull off, a meth addict in the midst of his addiction. He was able to change his pace from really fast and tense, while characters are using and slower for when they are not. I will be looking for more of Haberkorn's performances, judging by this one, he can handle anything.

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About the Reviewer:

Paul was sucked in to the world of audio books not necessarily by choice but by necessity . One day at work he needed something to stimulate his brain will toiling away in front of my 3 computer screens. He tried music but that gave him a headache after a while. Then he had an epiphany, “I should listen to audio books”, he thought. And there the journey began. 

Paul is not a professional writer or reviewer or book critique. He is a self proclaimed simple man from the Midwest of America that likes to speak his mind and often has trouble writing about what is on his mind. Find more reviews at