Clickers is one of those great throwbacks to classic sci-fi, just with a hard, brutal, gory edge. It's not one for the weak stomached, and that's the books strongest asset. It does lose itself as the final act starts in, but that doesn't mean getting there isn't fun enough to make it worthwhile.
All the usual clichés are here, so the beginning exposition is rather dry. As a best selling author rolls into a small town with the ignorant sheriff and obligatory love interest, you can already see where this is going. Once the clickers make their mark, things become exactly what you want them to be.
These little beasties are the hell spawn of crabs and scorpions, ripping people apart or injecting them with the nastiest poison you'll ever read about. This isn't something that just causes a heart stoppage or convulsions. Where's the fun in that? This liquid causes people to expand and burst. You haven't lived until you've pictured an old woman being stung, only to turn into "old woman sauce" seconds later.
No, this is not a book for those who don't like graphic descriptions of people attempting to save their own intestines. It's a book for fans of fantastic gore, disgustingly visualized in their mind. It's not just mindless violence either. It sets up a sense of hopelessness, that this town has no chance whatsoever in their struggle. As the body count picks up, you'll soon realize that even characters that take up entire chapters are not safe. No one stands a chance in Clickers, which leads to a shocking finale that you wouldn't possibly expect going in.
It's a shame then that this novel just falls apart in the end. Not content enough to just have vicious crabs running around eating people's innards, a new set of creatures is introduced late, far too along to really see a reason why. Sure, they're just as brutal, having an appetite for heads and all. With space quickly running out, the co-authors briefly slap a small chapter together, horribly written, to explain everything.
The conversation is completely unnatural as we learn of the origins, and that's unlike the previous chapters. The authors have the uncanny ability to build characters from their thoughts. As character's actions are described, it does so via their thoughts, and not from the first person either. It's a little unique, and it's pulled off well enough to be believable, even if the premise isn't.
If you have a small interest in either gore or creature features, Clickers is mandatory. It's obvious J.F. Gonzalez and Mark Williams had a blast describing each unique death in grotesque detail, and the reader benefits. It's not an American classic and it was never meant to be. Clickers is just horrific fun that never lets up.