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The Harvesting

(The Harvesting #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,165 ratings  ·  260 reviews
It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

"To label this a zombie book would be a false pretense . . . this is so much more than that. What you start out with and what you end up with are very different, and those twists and turns in the middle will make your heart beat faster over and over again" - Colossal Pop

Though Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Haml
Paperback, 386 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Steampunk Press (first published September 13th 2012)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,165 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
This was...honestly, I'm not sure. It was okay. A bit all over the place with the flu virus, the zombies and then yes..other things. It was an interesting story but scattered almost. It does need a good editing again. The misplaced words and wrong use of prefixes were a bit distracting but not overly so.

Don't think I will be continuing the series but I can see others really liking this and enjoying it.
Kate Adamek
Jul 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
EDIT: My first review of this was more a rant than a review just because I was SO angry at the book at the time:

It does truly baffle me that this book has 4/5 stars. I do not find the writing, the plot, or the characters up to par with what I would consider a 4 star book, hence my 1 star rating. Now here's a breakdown of why I personally think it's bad. There will be some SPOILERS but if you're looking at a One-Star review you must suspect there's something bad, wouldn't you want to know what it
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.5 awesome When I finished this book I just sat back with my mouth hanging open and basked in its glow. Labeled as horror or zombie book, The Harvesting is so much more. Karsak has blended lore, paranormal creatures and fantasy into this post-apocalyptic zombie infested world. The tale is gripping and I became completely enthralled. This may very well be one of my top ten reads for 2013 and I cannot wait for the next book.

Layla is living successful in New York and from the onset we realize she
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Small towns, everyone knows everybody else, people get labels they cannot shake and for Layla, leaving sleepy Hamletville and its painful memories behind for the lights of the big city was exactly what she needed. Now. Her grandmother needs her and she knows it is urgent. What she didn’t know was that going back to Hamletville would be a journey through nightmares, blood, death and a hardscrabble quest for her own survival. The country is under siege by a mysterious outbreak that leaves its vict ...more
4.5/5 Stars ( dystopian? Sign me up! I admit that I am a huge Walking Dead Fan, although I fought against watching it. I ended up binge watching three seasons in about 5 days. So this book appealed to me as soon as I read a review by Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviews of a later book in the series.

Layla is an expert in ancient weapons and works in Washington D.C. She is called home to her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother has a lot of magic inside her and “sees” thing
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Really enjoyed this one. Melanie Karsak gave a refreshing twist on a zombie novel so that it didn't feel like a zombie novel.

Full review up later.
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sweet Mary, mother of god, this book was all kinds of awesome. I first learned of it from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ( who also loved it.

Layla is living in Washington D.C. and working as a medieval weapons museum curator and instructor (of the practical, medieval weapons-wielding kind), when she receives a very mysterious and brief call from her mystic and psychic Russian grandmother telling her to come home right away.

Turns out the zombie apocal
Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}
Romancing the Dark Side Review:

A fantastic mix of the walking dead, vampires and so much more!

In The Harvesting we meet Layla, a young, independent woman who receives an unexpected phone call from her psychic grandmother to return to her childhood home of Hamletville. Always one to listen to her elders, Layla heeds her grandmother's request, not knowing that one phone call will change her life forever. When she arrives in Hamletville, Layla comes face to face with the demons of her past and mu
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I admit it…I have a weakness for zombies, but I have never really read a good zombie apocalypse book. So when I saw this one being advertised, I jumped on it, fervently hoping it would live up to my zombie expectations.

Layla is your typical left-the-small-town-and-never-want-to-go-back kind of girl. I mean, really, who could blame her? Rural small town has nothing on the big city life. But when her grandmother called her frantically wanting her to come home, Layla dropped everything and went. W
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What can I say but WOW!! I haven’t read a lot of zombie books, but The Harvest was amazing!! From the very first line in the book I was captivated……

“If you ever need to slice someone’s head off, this is the blade you want,”

Seriously, you can tell that book is going to be action packed from that first statement! And boy, was it ever!

Layla returns home after her Grandmother called her to come home immediately. When she arrives, her Grandmother doesn’t give her any answers, just sends her out to co
Neyra ♦
What to do..
What to do..

I was intrigued for the first couple of chapters of the book, but after some pages, I started to get bored. The Harvesting went from interesting to just plain old ridiculous in one fell swoop.

Layla Petrovich is making a life for herself in D.C, but a cryptic call from her grandmother has her returning to her hometown of Hamletville. when she arrives, her grandmother gives no explanation, simply says, "here's a list, bring back the supplies" (I'm paraphrasing of course);
Amie's Book Reviews
THE HARVESTING is an interesting take on the Zombie Apocalypse.

Layla Petrovich is living in Washington when she receives an urgent call from her grandmother to come home immediately.

Packing up her precious collection of medieval weaponry, Layla hurries back to Hamletville, New York. Her grandmother had raised her ever since her mother ran off with the town drunk.

Her grandmother has "the sight" and never asks Layla for anything. If her grandmother says something must be done, it must be done.
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
First off… the new cover. GASP! I loved the old cover, but this one is AHHHmazing! Now, I should follow that with an apology. I won this from a giveaway during last zOctober (hosted by My Book Addiction) and it took me almost forever to finally read it. Now that I’ve finished it, I can’t help but wonder “What the hell took me so long?!” Melanie Karsak can write any story, any genre. Shut up and take my money.

While the book wasn’t non-stop excitement, it was far from slow. The action scenes are s
Beth  (YA Books Central)
I joined the blog tour for The Harvesting and chose a review as my tour stop. Let me say that I am so glad I did. I love the horror/zombie genre and this one fits right in! There are so many turns and twists in this story. You begin reading and you think you know what is happening but you really have no idea…

I began reading and the main character, Layla grabbed my attention immediately. Layla is a strong heroine with a great personality. She receives a call from her grandmother (who is known for
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone that loves zombies, fantasy, the paranormal, and a hint of romance.
WOW! I am almost speechless. Thank you Melanie Karsak for sending me a copy of this masterpiece! This is not just a book about zombies, as I originally thought, but a book that combines the zombie apocalypse with fantasy and the paranormal. There are so many twists in this book I thought I would get dizzy. I never would have imagined there could be so much packed into one book and still flow so nicely and be so easy to read. I could not put this book down. It's going to be a long wait for the se ...more
Carolyn F.

I thought this would be an after the flu/trying to get by zombie book, but for some reason the author wanted to mix it up by throwing in paranormal aspects to it which I felt weren't needed. I think the book would have been a bit better with people learning to survive and realizations about affections being the main part of the book. The whole second half of the book felt like I was reading another book. If this had been a physical book instead of an audiobook, I would have stopped read
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
Layla was a strong character, and most of the time I liked her. There was one or two times where she annoyed me though.

This was an okay read, but I didn't always find the action interesting, so there were times where I felt bored.

Overall, An Okay Apocalyptic read.
Oct 13, 2012 marked it as to-read
Just met this author tonight at our local Zombie Walk. Love supporting our local writers!! Bought myself an autographed copy :)
Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)
From http://readingandwritingurbanfantasy....

This review has minor spoilers. I do mention what supernatural creatures are in this world besides the zombies.

At A Glance
Well that was a hell of a thing. Zombies, Vampires, AND Spirits! This is the kind of book that you end up loving for it's uniqueness.

The Good
The Harvesting blew my mind. I never expected it. It gives off the persona that it's just another zombie book. But it's a lie. This isn't just a zombie book. This book has everything: fantas
Layla's grandmother calls her back to her hometown, where she has been making preparations for a zombie apocalypse that hasn't happened yet. Layla knows all about ancient weapons and her grandmother's gifts, so agrees to go and help, even if it means having to see Ian, who cheated on her and married his pregnant mistress. Then the zombies come one morning and town is in chaos as everyone tries to survive with Layla leading the fightback. But the zombie outbreak is just the beginning of this town ...more
Mandy (I Read Indie) Anderson
"Layla, Grandma needs you to come home." Those words would change Layla's world forever. If she had been the type of grandchild to never listen, then most likely she would be dead instead of fighting the undead.
Back in her hometown of Hamletville, Layla is hit with the memories of her past love and a home in disarray. Why is her grandmother hoarding food, guns, and medicines? And why is everyone suddenly getting sick with this nasty flu strain?

When I was approached to do a review on The Harvest
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.25

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: The Harvesting is a story that grew on me over the course of the story and I am very curious as to where it is heading!

Quick Thoughts: This was a Dewey's ReadaThon listen and I was scared in the beginning that I had selected wrong. I didn't particular like the characters and quite frankly was hoping some of them would die (like majo
Tara Neideffer
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
The Harvesting was definitely action packed. I liked the characters and I liked the small town feel of the book. The main character, Layla, was smart and easy to like. I really liked her grandma and wished there would have been more of her in the book. I also liked the set up of the town Hamletville being somewhat closed off from the rest of the world with only one main bridge and a couple side roads taking them out of their town, it gave the book a lonely feel to match the desperation going on ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review at http://thesaucywenchesbookclub.blogsp...

This was not at all what I expected it to be. I really thought this would be your standard Urban Fantasy (which I love), snarky heroine, sexy snarky hero, etc. But not at all! It's a serious, adult, dark fantasy.

It had a lot of old world lore in it, which makes the possibilities endless with where the story can go. I was instantly intrigued with the story once Layla's grandmother called her and told her to come home IMMEDIATELY. And then, t
Jeff Holton
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
A friend of mine reviewed this book for my web site Colossal Pop ( and gave it a favorable review so I thought I would check it out. I wasn't sure what to expect but so far it has been a great book. I am about 200 pages in and definitely hooked. I am anxious to see where this all goes especially since it is a trilogy. I will complete this review when I finish it within the next couple of days.

Just finished The Harvesting and this was a fantastic book. I was looking forward to the
Stephanie Robertson
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I won this book on Goodreads. I love this book it is great and I can't wait for the second book of it to come out to read, I know I will be buying the whole series that is for sure. On a scale of 1 to 10 this book is a 10 definitely.
Emmie Mears
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting twist on vampires and zombies

This was a surprisingly refreshing read. Fun and quick, but with unexpected layers. Strong, capable hero -- I really enjoyed Layla.
Michelle Willms
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing undead tale

This first story in this series is a refreshing take on zombie apocalypse tales of old. This book combines folklore, psychic ability, vampires,and other beings to create an exciting survival adventure unlike any I've ever read. Highly recommended.
Tiffa (The Readers Lair)
I received an eBook copy of this book for a blog tour, in exchange for an honest review.

Layla is living successfully and happily in New York when she receives a rather anxious and demanding phone call from the psychic Grandmother that raised her. Layla’s Grandma demands that she must return to her home town straight away, and then hangs up without giving a reason. When Layla arrives, she finds her Grandmother has been stockpiling supplies, getting rid of unnecessary objects and sends Layla out o
Invite for The Harvesting blog tour appeared in my mailbox while I was still in my omg-zombies-are-so-cool phase inflicted by Warm Bodies. After I enjoyed R's adventures, I was in a mood for more zombie shenanigans. The Harvesting delivered large quantities of zombies to keep me satisfied and surprised me with likeable kick-ass heroine and more.

Layla loves her life. She works at Smithsonian, teaching about her greatest passion: ancient weapons. She is not thrilled when she gets a phone call: "La
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Assistant Professor of English a ...more

Other books in the series

The Harvesting (3 books)
  • The Shadow Aspect (The Harvesting, #2)
  • The Torn World (The Harvesting, #3)
“You see, Layla, fools are not sown, they grow by themselves,” she added then we left.” 3 likes
“Raw violence eats you alive in one big swallow. Intelligent aggression was a slow, painful death.” 2 likes
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