This isn’t normally the sort of book that I would pick up. Although, in recent years, I have read and really enjoyed a number of post-apocolyptic nove...moreThis isn’t normally the sort of book that I would pick up. Although, in recent years, I have read and really enjoyed a number of post-apocolyptic novels, I was initially somewhat put off this book by the promise of zombies. Then I read that I it had elements of McCarthys The Road (which I LOVED!) and Matheson’s I am Legend (which I expected to hate when given it to read for a bookclub, but actually really enjoyed).
The book started really well. Temple is 16, alone and kick-ass. She has spent the last few weeks on an island off the Florida coast catching and eating fish and spending her days looking out over the water to make sure she remains alone. Life as we know it is hinted at with details like Temple finding a stash of magazines (from before) which have glossy pictures of a life she has never known. The only thing that upsets Temple’s solitary existance is coming across a body on the beach. The body, as she suspected, is one of the undead (or Slugs as she calls them): it looks like the Slug has got wind of her on the island and tried to swim over but been dashed on the rocks and left for dead. Temple knows that it’s only a matter of time before more follow and she picks up her handful of belongings and makes her way back to the mainland to set off north and on to the next place.
The world that Temple inhabits is a mixture of humans (some nomads and some who have set up communities in the wake of whatever happened) and zombies who roam the the land looking for flesh to feed on. Temple encounters several people along the way: some who help her and some who are after her. Temple does whatever she has to to survive, and boy does she. She has never known a different world and it is clear early on that her parents weren’t around for very long so she has had to cope for herself all her life. There are scenes of violence as Temple is ruthless in her desire to stay alive, but this isn’t just a book about destruction and desolation; it’s also about human emotion. Temple picks up a mute man along the way (whom she calls “Dummy”) and despite her thinking that she can cast him off onto someone else, she becomes strangely attached and realises that she does have it in her to help and be kind (which is something unfamiliar to her).
The narrative in this book is clean and uncluttered and exactly what I loved about The Road. I think it will and can be enjoyed by those who love fantasy type fiction, but also those (like me) for whom this isn’t their normal genre. There was only one part that bothered me, and that was in the middle when Temple meets a group of people called “The Inheritors of the Earth”: I just didn’t get wht they were in it; it seemed unecessary to me and made what seemed a plausible storyline (even with the zombies which I could accept) into something that instantly made me snap back to reality and disbelieve again.
In summary, I enjoyed this book and would recommend to anyone who likes post-apocolyptic novels and fantasy. (less)
What an absolute treat this book was to read! I absolutely loved it. I was recommended this book a few months ago (thanks Kathryn) so I picked up a co...moreWhat an absolute treat this book was to read! I absolutely loved it. I was recommended this book a few months ago (thanks Kathryn) so I picked up a copy when in NYC in December as it wasn’t out in the UK then. Then in January I was lucky enought to interview Gail for my blog and was even more fascinated and intriguied when I read her answers. Who knew a book about vampires, werewolves and ghosts wandering around Victorian London and attending tea-parties would be so much fun? From the minute I cracked open the spine I knew I was in for a great ride. Our heroine is Miss Alexia Tarabotti and she has fast become one of my favourite characters in any book: she’s feitsy, speaks her own mind, sarcastic, soulless, large chested and so funny!
In the opening pages, Miss Tarabotti accidentally kills a rogue vampire who tries to attack her, and although she is put out that said vampire doesn’t appear to know that she was born without a soul and therefore immune to any supernatural attack, she is more annoyed that the vampire landed in the middle of the food table and on top of the treacle tart, which she had particularly been looking forward to. Within minutes, The Earl of Wolsey, Lord Maccon, arrives in the middle of the mess – he has been sent by Queen Victoria to investigate the mystery of disappearing registered vampires and appearing rogue vampires. Lord Maccon also happens to be a werewolf, the Alpha at that, and Miss Tarabotti appears to exasperate him at every turn. The characters are what really made this book, for me. Alexia aside, I also fell in love with Lord Akeldama, a flambouyant vampire who practically minces through the pages, and Lyall, Lord Maccon’s beta werewolf and sidekick are fantastic, as are the vile Mrs Loontwill (Alexia’s mother) and her two sisters.
Miss Tarabotti’s adventure with trying to track down what has happened to the disappearing vampires and werewolves and getting herself kidnapped by a man with a wax face are nothing compared to the other big distraction that keeps following her around in the shape of an increasingly randy Lord Maccon. There are fangs, fur, ghosties, tea, treacle tart, peacock hats, silver-tipped parasols, adventure, science, satire blended with steampunk and some fantasy – the whole shebang.
I really did enjoy this book and I can’t wait for the next in the series, Changeless, to come out in April. I can highly recommend this book and urge you to read it!(less)
Love, love, loved it!!! I feel like I'm on a bit of a YA kick at the moment - I like to think I can still live vicariously through teenagers (it's bee...moreLove, love, loved it!!! I feel like I'm on a bit of a YA kick at the moment - I like to think I can still live vicariously through teenagers (it's been a while!). I read this book in less than a day; I could not put it down. Infact I was up at 2am this morning with my eye-sockets sagging half way down my cheeks 'cos I just had to keep reading the damn thing!
The story starts in France in 1565, when a fallen angel appears to a boy in a remote field and tells him that he has a job for him to do and an oath to swear. Flashforward several hundred years and Nora Grey is a sixteen year old student in Maine, with little interest in boys until Patch turns up in her Biology class, as a lab partner, seemingly hell-bent on making her life a misery with his arrogant, uncommunicative ways. Everywhere she turns, there he is, and trouble seems to follow him around. Nora soon finds herself in the middle of something that she can't explain but she doesn't know who to trust.
The book has a great setting: eery fog, desolate roads and rainswept coastal towns. It's dark yet vibrant and pacy at the same time. The characters were great; I especially loved Nora's best friend, Vee. Her humour alone could have sold the book to me.
I really enjoyed this book; I almost turned into a prune in the bath when reading it because I couldn't bear to put it down to even climb out. Highly recommended!(less)