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White Horse

(White Horse #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  3,155 ratings  ·  708 reviews
When I wake the world is gone. Only fragments remain. And then I remember...

Her life may have taken a couple of wrong turns but thirty-year-old Zoe is trying to make the best of what she has. A part time cleaning job to pay for college, a weekly appointment with her therapist to straighten out the problems in her life. The same problems that any thirty-year-old girl w
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 29th 2012 by Simon and Schuster (first published 2012)
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Debbie Obviously there is/should be a follow-up book, especially since this is described as book 1 of a trilogy. I hope it's not going to be like waiting for…moreObviously there is/should be a follow-up book, especially since this is described as book 1 of a trilogy. I hope it's not going to be like waiting for George R.R Martin's book 6.(less)

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Average rating 3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,155 ratings  ·  708 reviews

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so this is why i hate reviewing advanced readers' copies. after the thrill of "yayyyyy, i have something that youuuu don't have" wears off, i am stuck here with a book that was good, but didn't blow my mind. and now i have to be all critical about it, and it can't even defend itself yet. and it is probably one of those books that is going to be wildly successful and then i will be the lone voice in the wilderness on record as not loving it and all the internet will laugh at me.

not that i lack th

Bottom line, this book has *a lot* to recommend it: it is a dark, dream-like, post-apocalyptic landscape with sharp turns and compelling plot twists. I experienced a few moments of genuine shock (remarkable for a jaded reader like myself) and not once did I ever want to stop reading. I just had to know how it was all going to come out. The only way to really know if this book is for you is to go on this journey with Zoe, our narrator, and see for yourself.

This is one of those books that when I
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended to me as a 'Hunger Games for adults,' so maybe that's where it all went wrong. That excited me way too much.

This book was weird. Odd, disconnected and I didn't see any display of great writing that some of the other reviewers did. I couldn't get into the story or the characters (as I did with 'Hunger Games' and now I'll never be able to stop comparing the two), and it felt way too overtly like a setup book for the remaining trilogy. I didn't find Zoe, the protagonist, likab

[This review can also be found on Bookwanderer!]

Alex Adams' White Horse came galloping out of the herd of dystopian fiction earlier this year, accompanied by lots of positive reviews and buzz. I took a bet on it, but unfortunately, for me, what I had taken for a White Horse was, in actuality, a bob-tailed nag.

(Okay, more horse puns.)

While it initially seemed like a promising example of a post-apocalypse novel, I ended up finishing White Horse solely for the reveals. Even when reading s
Cole Alpaugh
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You slip into the first pages of WHITE HORSE and are so overwhelmed by the beauty of the writing that you barely notice the horrific events unfolding. Imagine writing that dances across incestuous rape and the noise of cats lapping decomposing human flesh and still makes you want to cry for the beauty of the words. Alex Adams is that good. Her writing leaves you ready to challenge anyone to find a better paragraph, a better page from any of the great authors. It is writing that creates a dilemma ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pandemic disease is only part of Adams' apocalypse. It also involves war and pesky shifts in global weather. What's more -- and to me most fascinating -- "White Horse" is a pathogen that wreaks its havoc by changing the victim's genetic structure, turning off certain switches and flipping on others. The effects of this sudden evolution range from miserable death (most of the population) to horrific somatic mutations.

A very few people seem to be immune to the plague. One is our heroine Zoe, who a
Jamie Mason
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you survived the end of the world, what would you become? Surely you don't imagine you'd remain the very same you, the you that you've come to know and love (and self-loathe at intervals.) Would you become a hero? A hermit? Or perhaps a looter, or a lunatic?

What is there left after every achievement you've gained in life becomes meaningless and you're stranded on the ashy other side of all you've ever known? Once someone (or something) has pushed the reset button on civilization, who will you
White Horse is the first novel in the White Horse trilogy and shares the beginning of a post-apocalyptic dystopian world and its downfall. It is dark, gritty, and eerily real. Adam shares with us the many facets of man at his best and worst. She immediately captured my attention with her riveting world-building and her raw, fleshed out characters. This tale immediately made me think of the Passage by John Cronin and the awesomeness I felt while embarking on that journey. Within the first few pag ...more
Chris Blocker
For the first 100 pages, White Horse was well on its way to being a five star read. That's not to say it didn't have problems, it did. * But the story was entertaining. The structure was highly effective. The tale of two girls, one blind, trying to make it in this post-apocalyptic landscape worked well. It was The Road meets The Hunger Games. %

The next hundred pages the book dropped to a 4 for me. My patience was beginning to wane. Too many convenient events coming together. A fight, an explosi
Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside)
I grew up in a very religious family that was, to state things mildly, a little obsessed about "the End Times." Being constantly immersed in a culture of anticipating the Apocalypse with glee did something of a number on my head, a trauma which even well into my skeptical and atheistic adulthood can sometimes still rear up and give me a case of the cold sweats or worse. That's why it took me four months to finish this book: because it's so vividly written that I found myself having to put it dow ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Samrat by: librarian at Boylston Public Library
Sometimes people ask me why I read young adult books. I mean, there's this sense that you read books for children when you're a child and then you progress to middle grade chapter books and young adult and you move on to things from the proper fiction and nonfiction shelves by the time you're out of college. At some point, I know should graduate to staid biographies and home repair manuals and Moby Dick or some shit. But then I read something shelved for adults and I remember why I don't.

So many
3,5/5 I'm not sure if I love it, but certainly it's good idea.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Bauer
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"White Horse" by Alex Adams is one of the best books I've read this year. I have to give the book 4.5 stars for a couple of minor points at the end of this post.

The overall writing style is absolutely top notch with gobs of original and evocative prose. The story is a familiar one among contemporary writers; post-collapse survival, hazardous journeys and perils at every turn. But there are several key elements in this work which make it stand out, head and shoulders above the rest. Think of Corm
Flora Smith
I received this courtesy of FirstReads.

This was one of those books that I really had trouble putting down once I started it. I love dystopias and apocolyptic type books and this fit those categories perfectly.

Zoe is a janitor in a pharmaceutical company when one day all the mice at work dies and she comes home to find a mysterious jar in her apartment. Things tend to go downhill for Zoe after that. People start dying from a mysterious disease. Its later learned that if you didn't die from this d
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

The first in a planned trilogy, it’s a stream of consciousness styled apocalyptic tale with alternating timeframes. The novel features an illness that horrifically decimates and changes the human population, and an intriguing mythic thread with a heroine’s journey - where a young survivor travels on a heartfelt mission to find the father of her unborn child.

About: Zoe is strong, intelligent and reflective. In transition, she is working at a local resea
Carolyn  Storer
I found White Horse very interesting but irritating at first. The format is a little off putting with "Now" and "Then" being used throughout to tell the story of the present and the past, with very short passages between each one, which interrupted the flow of the story. Then there was the 'jar'. One of the most intriguing aspects to White Horse and one of the most frustrating.

A mysterious jar turns up in Zoe's apartment, with no note and no reason. And whereas you or I might just throw it in th
Kayt O'Bibliophile
...I kinda hate it when summaries misrepresent their book. Scratch that, I totally hate it. That might not reflect on the book's story or quality, but somewhere in he publishing process, someone made a decision to lie to potential readers. And then someone probably approved it.

So no, the book is not, as it would seem, about "everything is normal until BOOM the president announces we're all gonna die and now everyone is disappearing and we have to run or we'll never survive!"

The president doesn't
Oct 02, 2014 rated it liked it
So where to start - ok I think the first thing is to say that a lot better people and reviewers have commented about this book so if you are after a hint at what this book is like I suggest you read them I doubt I can do them any other justice than to let them say their piece.
But what do I think - well I am not sure and let me explain why. I struggle with books which try and present a moral superior person, even the best of us gets angry and traffic jams and shop check outs - so when you see a
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
I have to tell you that this novel pulled me in from page one and held me to the very last page. Adams writes a story of a post apocalyptic time. I could not help but wonder the whole time I was reading what I would do if I woke up one day and had to face what Zoe, the main character, had to face. She is powerful and her experiences are graphic, unsettling and simply irresistible. This page turning novel takes you not only on a journey of survival, but a journey of the human condition when faced ...more
Cecily Kyle
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sinful-towers
Because I picked this book solely for the title purpose for a reading challenge, I did not have any idea what the book was going to be about but I was pleasantly surprise and liked it from beginning to end. It was a bit predictable once it got going I just didn't expect it. Don't ALWAYS judge a book by its cover.
Good Read!
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just want those of you that read my blog regularly know that this is not my regular fare. But I had to post my review here because I know a lot of you do read adult fiction. This is a book that shows an apocalypse before during and after. Something that's so frighteningly realistic that I wonder that it hasn't happened yet or if it will happen in my life time. The people are dying so rapidly that they have to burn the bodies. A war was being fought but it was forgotten when the sickness came o ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If White Horse brings to mind a knight in shining armor coming to rescue the princess you're far from what this book is all about. If White Horse brings to mind Taylor Swift's song you're even further from it than before & you might as well give up & just read the book to find out. I loved everything about this dystopian/post-apocalyptic story. Where other books about similar topics fail this one triumphs: Zoe, the protagonist is extremely likable & as you read you want her to survive, to have a ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My secret passion is dystopian fiction. I usually indulge myself with young adult offerings, but the opening lines of Alex Adams' adult debut novel White Horse drew in and had me settled into my favourite reading nook (for a very long time)

"When I wake, the world is still gone. Only fragments remain. Pieces of places and people who were once whole."

I am always intrigued by what authors imagine our future might be.

Our protagonist is Zoe - a young widow who works as a cleaner at Pope Pharmaceut
Nicki Markus
To say this post-apocalyptic dystopian story is bleak is putting it mildly. This is not a tale for anyone looking for light entertainment, but it is an extremely well-written piece that really sneaks up on you.

When I started reading, I was impressed with Adams' prose, which draws you in and establishes the scene and characters without being flowery or wordy. The offshoot of this is that it takes a while before you really process just how dreadful events are and that, I think, is what makes this
Jul 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“White Horse”
Alex Adams

“White Horse” is the story of thirty-eight year old Zoe, a janitor at Pope Pharmaceuticals, who leads an ordinary life until the President of the United States announces that humans are no longer a viable species and the end of the world is at hand. Zoe sees everyone she loves disappear in the disease, war and completely crazy weather destroys the world and the people in it. Zoe starts running and ends up in a farmhouse in what uses to be a farm in what used to be Italy.
Kristina Rose
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While the premise is relevant for the era we live in (if not played out at this point), the utter and complete fakeness and ridiculousness of the actual (mediocre) writing ruined the entire effect.

First, some sort of man made end of the world has finally come (about time!) and people are dropping dead everywhere, yet no one seems to feel the need to gather supplies or investigate what is going on. With people in this much denial, I would have been happy to let Darwin take over. People in general
The world is in ruins after a disease has killed most of the planet and a young woman is in search to find her love while everyone around her is dying of a mystery virus...yada yada yada. It's your basic post-apocalyptic, everyone-is-dead-or-dying story. Love the premise. The darker the better. And this one is dark...lots of people's great. It cleverly goes back and forth between the "Then", when everything started going to hell, and the "Now", where our heroine travels halfway across t ...more
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
White Horse
Alex Adams

The reader is thrown into a new world where chaos reigns, but humanity survives.
This novel tries to be a romantic novel and succeeds if the reader can identify romance in a Post-apocalyptic world.

White Horse is the name that has been given to a plague that has wiped out millions and of humans. There are three types of people left in the world, the dead, the dying, and those that may be immune from the White Horse disease.

Thirty-year-old Zoe is one of the immune. She led an o
Told between two different times, noted as THEN and NOW, by Zoe, the central figure, WHITE HORSE is a story of a world disaster engineered by the greed of a premiere pharmaceutical company in search of a cure for cancer. What was created was an indestructible cancer virus that raged quickly through the body, either killing its host or mutating them in some way. The disease was named White Horse and ordinary Zoe Marshall is one of the questionably lucky 10% who survived.

In the course of seeing a
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Alex Adams was born in New Zealand, raised in Greece and Australia, and currently lives in Oregon--which is a whole lot like New Zealand, minus those freaky-looking wetas. Her debut novel, White Horse (Emily Bestler Books/Atria) hits shelves April 17, 2012. Her fingers are crossed that the world won't end before then.

Other books in the series

White Horse (2 books)
  • Red Horse (White Horse, #2)

Articles featuring this book

Her Favorite Post-Apocalyptic Books for Adults: Dare to imagine the end of the world in these picks from the author of White Horse, a horrifying ta...
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“How do you file a restraining order against sadness?” 16 likes
“My two best friends are dead, which means they're great listeners now, but lousy as far as support goes.” 7 likes
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