I was asked by Angela Scott to review this book and I gladly accepted. It sounds interesting and different and boy am I happy I accepted. This book was fantastic! The wild west is not really my scene and whilst I like reading/watching things on zombies I’m not a huge fanatic. However this meshed together perfectly to make a wonderful young-adult novel.
I’ll start of with the plot. We’re thrown straight into a situation unfamiliar to us with no introductions. We get a brief background on a girl and we learn about her family and the impact of zombies. It’s rather touching for a preface of the novel and made an instant connection for me to the character and brought a real energy to the story on such a pacey start. Just as we fall into a sense of knowing we are thrown into a different situation where we meet Trace. The story is fast paced and ever flowing onwards.
Since the scene is constantly changing to keep up a new setting and action packed moment, we are never in the same place twice and it makes an exciting read. The different location changes serve to really immerse you as a reader into the world of the wild west and get the western feel. I wouldn’t say that the western tilt to this novel was overly strong, which allowed me to keep reading, but it was there to remind us of the time and setting. I generally refrain from everything western, but I liked the concept of this novel.
We had the horses and the guns, the poker and bars along with little family houses. It was quaint and I felt like Scott really set up a descriptive style to the story that wasn’t overly detailed to take away from the fast action of the plot. If you like Western novels you’ll love this and even if you don’t I think you shouldn’t let that deter you from reading!
Red. She is an amazing kick ass character who we witness going on a phenomenal journey. The emotional aspects to her character were really profound because she witness some really traumatic experiences in her life and as the story unfolded we found many revelations to come. I thought there was always a new aspect of Red that we were waiting to uncover and that she wasn’t predictable in the slightest. She was a very strong female protagonist for the story and I appreciate that about strong female characters. She could hold her own and fight and then there were times where we witnessed real vulnerability and struggle but this only reminded us of her humanity. I felt that whilst she seemed cold and harsh, she had human faults and true reasons and values to her character.
Trace was an interesting man. I found I hated him for the first half of the novel until he developed his own sense of morals and loyalty. Then he grew more and more upon me. He was certainly a stubborn man, and he worked well for the love interest for Red. I also have to admit that a little bit he grew on my heart and I was rooting for him by the end of the story. You’ll be pleased to know we have no other love interests to this story.
The zombies remind me of those from ‘Walking Dead’ if any of you have watched the TV show. They are blood hungry and savage and are only killed with a shot to the head. There are lots of questions surrounding the zombies and relating to Red and members of the population that are totally eluded in this novel, so I hope because this book is a series Scott will go on to cover the root of the outbreak and the more scientific aspects of the zombies. However, they are really fantastic horror zombies with no qualms about killing and gnawing away at somebody. Scott is not about to shy away from her horror even writing for the young-adult audience.
The only thing I could say was just over half-way through we reached a point where the novel and characters seemed to repeat themselves and that Red may have fallen into a kind of pattern that annoyed me. However Scott seemed to recuperate quickly from a little writing funk and finished with a respectable ending that left you wanting more and asking lots of questions.
As a young-adult novel, I’d suggest this more for the older teens because there is lots of blood and horror. We also brush across some intimate subjects whilst they aren’t covered in details the implications are perfectly clear and not something for young children.
Nevertheless I believe all audiences young-adult upwards can appreciate the well-written and developed plot and characters that Scott provides us with. It’s a short read at just over 200 pages and certainly makes for an enjoyable read. I’ll be looking out for the next book in the series out Autumn 2012, whilst I suggest you go stock your shelves or e-reader with a copy of this zombie-rrific book!
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Let me know what you think!