I bought this book on a 99 cent ebook buying binge a short while ago and completely forgot what it was or what it was even remotely about, but I started reading and then I got to a bit about the serenity of a farmhouse being ruined by the streak of blood of the infected wiped on the outside.
And I was PUMPED.
Zombies: I like that shit.
That’s no secret. And it’s no secret that if there is anything I like more than zombies; it’s kick ass female characters. And this book is chock full.
An infection was unleashed on the population some 10 years people (population control, people were supposed to die, unfortunately some of them lived with the infection but got brain damaged and inhuman). Emma, who’s dad was a “survivalist” prepared her well for the end of the world. (After the zombie apocalypse, the victorious will be the severely nerdy) Emma has been on her own since she was nine, and she did the coolest thing ever and made BFFs with a timber wolf.
Everything changes when Anna shows up banging on her door one night. Anna’s brother, Jake, fell in a hole and hurt his leg and she needs help. Emma, against her better judgement goes out and helps him. And they make friends (And more than friends). Jake has incredibly poor survival instincts. Anna, on the other hand kicks some serious ass. Emma is impressed by her survival skills. And I said Oh my gosh she’s not instantly jealous and competitive for no reason?!?! Hooray! In fact, in her travels she meets many wonderful girls and women (and kisses one).
One of the places she makes friends is a commune where they have bonfires and play guitar and share everything. And people there have children. On purpose. Emma is HORRIFIED. Thank you, Emma. One of my biggest beefs with both Deviants and the Hunger Games was that someone was talking about getting married and having children. With a teenager. While everyone’s surviving off of rodents. AND the government is killing people. Because seriously, this is no place for child rearing.
One of the other places she makes friends is.. a breeding farm. That’s right. Because the infected are a problem. But they aren’t THAT big of a problem. If you’ve survived 10 years, you can probably handle a few shamblers. The zombies here aren’t out to infect or find humans, they’ll attack whatever moves, including a bush in the wind. They aren’t that smart. But the government rebuilding the population wants healthy women, or specifically healthy WHITE women. Everyone else is getting shipped off in slaves ships or raped and murdered. Not Caucasian? Diabetic? Over thirty? Smoker? raped. killed. enslaved. Not that it turns out better for the girls forced into breeding.The government is the real enemy.
Emma’s badass, since she was alone from ages 9-19, seeing her make friends is funny. She gets most of her social skills from books. Specifically cheesy paperbacks her grandmother read. She falls for Jake, no surprise, even though he’s goofy and not awesome at surviving the post-apocalypse. She also falls for Will, which I won’t ruin for you.
She acts immature about it, but hey, it’s her first time.
I loved the plot. I loved the characters. There are people who would sell each other out for a dollar, people selling their own children for cigarettes, parents driven to madness trying to keep children safe, there are rapists and perverts. People are hungry. Worrying about the infected is secondary. It’s very very good.
But: This could be edited better. A few words and commas here and there make no sense. I know, that’s nitpicky. Some of the dialogue appears with no clue for who’s talking for a few lines.
“They say that the world is built for two, but in the silence of the old cellar, two feels like a long lost dream. It’s an ice cream cone on a boardwalk with the sun above and the sea below. It’s the wind rolling around you gently, trying to persuade in all the directions at once and mixing sand over your feet as your toes dig in. It’s a perfect place none of us tries to remember.”
was the opening paragraph. and I hate it. It’s supposed to be poetic, but it doesn’t fit the rest of the narration. Also it’s a rip off of this:
It was wildly unnecessary. And I am picking at it, because this book was good enough that it deserves a little extra attention to detail.
That being said; 4.5 wooden arrows!