My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days on and off
Pages - 368
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Blurb from Goodreads
When the world ends, can love survive?
For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.
When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.
Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?
Scarlett works in the hospital which is where she is when the outbreaks really kicks off. Her two daughters are with her ex husband and her main focus is getting to them and a place of safety. One of the doctors she works with has a safe haven, Red Hill, this is where Scarlett aims to get to. The doctors own daughters are headed to this location and a few other characters. With a deadly zombie outbreak, cannibalism, violence and death the main goal for all is to get to safety unharmed.
You know by now I love a zombie book and I especially love that this one kicks off really in a hospital. We get split between the main characters with each chapter, Scarlett, Nathan & his daughter and Miranda, Ashley (the doctors daughters) and their partners. Whilst there is gore and deaths galore this book also looks are relationships and the impacts this kind of disaster can have on families and how people cope and survive.
There are dark themes as always with apocalypse but also the darker side of human nature when vulnerable people are left unprotected. Sexual abuse raises its ugly head, briefly but enough that I feel a warning is required to fellow readers. Really fast paced, despite jumps in characters and locations the book does well to keep it together and relevant. I would have read it in one sitting given the chance, there is another book which looks at the journey of two of the survivors but nothing from where this one ends. I tweeted the author and really hope this is in the pipelines or gives McGuire consideration to pick up where she left off with the characters. 4/5 for me this time, this is my first dance with this author and I would read her work again.