***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***
First off, I must say that I liked the original cover of this much better than the new one. I mean look at it!
Anyway, I really enjoyed this novel. It’s one of the few books I can name that I read in one day. I was hooked from the moment I started reading. Sherry’s habit of counting the days since her last normal experiences fascinated me. Watching this family try to deal with the fact that they are supposed to stay in this bombshelter even now when they are completely out of food had my full attention. What happened in the outside world? How would they deal with the loss of food? Would they decide that the best chance of survival was to become cannibals and eat Grandpa who died a few months prior and was in the freezer? Would they decide it was worth the risk to venture out and find food? Ding ding ding We have a winner. Daddy dearest and Sherry leave the shelter in search of food, but instead of finding it, they find a deserted Walmart where they are promptly attacked. Sherry is saved by Joshua, one of the few survivors who happened to be nearby, but Daddy isn’t so lucky. He has vanished and Sherry is beyond upset. Joshua takes Sherry to his home and introduces her to the other survivors. They go collect the rest of Sherry’s family from the bunker then Sherry & Joshua scamper off to try to find and rescue Daddy.
The more I learned about this world, the more intrigued I became. This post apocalyptic world was brought on by a mutated strain of rabies that infected the population. Not an act of nature, but a genetically altered version made by the government for who knows what purpose. It reminded me a lot of the tv show Firefly (or the movie Serenity). The government fucks up and while the disease merely kills the majority of the population, some have a more severe reaction and become cannibalistic monsters.
Then at the end to learn that not only is the government responsible, but they actually aren’t living in a post apocalyptic world. Oh no. It’s much worse in some ways. The area they live in is indeed deserted area, but it’s only because the government’s solution to the rabies infestation is to fence off the contaminated areas (California, Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona) and allow the rest of the world to continue living as if nothing has changed. They offer no assistance to anyone who may still be human, instead they heavily patrol the border of the fence and anyone or anything caught near it is turned into the scientists guinea pigs. The story ends right after this tidbit of information is revealed along with the rumor of a cure.
I found it to be a very exciting and enjoyable read. I loved that Sherry didn’t relish killing something but at the same time, when it came down to the monster or her she did shoot it. I also loved that she wasn’t a great shot. She’s human and fallible and it’s great. I can’t wait for the next novel.
****Thank you to Marshall Cavendish for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****