My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days
Pages - 400
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING
It's November 2023. The human race has been wiped out by the 6DM virus (Six Days Maximum - the longest you've got before your body destroys itself). The end of the world as we know it.
Yet someone is still alive. Alone in a new world of burning cities, rotting corpses and ravenous rats, one woman has survived. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants and hiding how she feels to meet other people's expectations. From her career to her relationships, to what she wears and where she lives, she's made a lifetime of decisions to fit what other people want her to be.
But with no one else left, who will she become now that she's completely alone?
6DM - 6 days maximum from symptoms start to your utterly horrific/painful death. There is no cure, there is only pain, suffering and death, there are pills available to help you end it, that is it. So when our main character (unnamed) not only is immune but the only survivor what is a girl to do with the whole world at her disposal.
The book takes us through the female narrator's navigation through the beginning of the pandemic, current situation and flips back to pre pandemic. We get to know her through her current choices, who she was before everything went bad and as she tries to survive a lonely and dangerous new existence.
There is a lot about this book that will make the reader uncomfortable, she goes off the rails, she makes some questionable choices but I think being so flawed brings her to life. Some of the stuff with the animals I found really hard going, I always do in books or movies, everybody has a thing that gets them, mine is harm/badness to animals.
I think the author captures humanity quite well in this character, what would you do if you had the world to yourself. Every shop, house, drink, drug, place available - no consequences to your actions but also the pure fear of being truly alone. The smells, the terror, the new threats to you, having to be extra careful because there are no doctors, no hospitals, no healthcare - things you took for granted are now risks.
Some people may find this book too dark in light of our current pandemic however for me it was a good escape, how much worse things could be. Walking through the abandoned streets, houses, lives of others, how very lonely it would be and weighing up the choices available. I think this will be a marmite book and what some folk like others won't, it is different that is for sure, I would absolutely recommend, 3.5/5 for me. I look forward to seeing what this author has to offer next!