Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Red Hill #1

Red Hill

Rate this book
Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2013)
Nadie abre los ojos pensando que ese día tendrá que enfrentarse al fin del mundo. Pero, a medida que los pacientes se agolpan en la sala de urgencias del hospital en el que trabaja, Scarlet debe comenzar a aceptar que la plaga europea sobre la que las noticias venían informando ha llegado a Estados Unidos y que, a partir de ese viernes, ya nada será igual. Es lo mismo que descubre Nathan mientras corre con su hija pequeña por unas calles donde cualquier esquina puede esconder el mordisco que conduzca a una muerte agónica. Y lo que constata Miranda en su huida por carretera camino del refugio donde todos ellos habrán de coincidir: Red Hill.

352 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jamie McGuire

46 books41.9k followers
Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists in all four categories. Beautiful Oblivion, book one of the Maddox Brothers series, also topped the New York Times bestseller list, debuting at #1. In 2015, books two and three of the Maddox Brothers series, Beautiful Redemption and Beautiful Sacrifice, respectively, also topped the New York Times, as well as a Beautiful series novella, Something Beautiful. In 2016, Beautiful Burn made an appearance on the New York Times and USA Today, and was also named iBooks' Romance Book of the Year. The same year, A Beautiful Funeral also topped the New York Times bestseller list.

Novels also written by Jamie McGuire include: apocalyptic thriller and 2014 UtopYA Best Dystopian Book of the Year, Red Hill; the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy; Apolonia, a dark sci-fi romance; and several novellas, including A Beautiful Wedding, Among Monsters, Happenstance: A Novella Series, and Sins of the Innocent.

Jamie is the first indie author in history to strike a print deal with retail giant Wal-Mart. Her self-published novel, Beautiful Redemption hit Wal-Mart shelves in September, 2015.

Jamie lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with her husband, Jeff, and their three children.

Find Jamie at www.jamiemcguire.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,296 (32%)
4 stars
4,762 (35%)
3 stars
3,016 (22%)
2 stars
907 (6%)
1 star
375 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,045 reviews
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
October 1, 2013

5 stars!! OUTSTANDING!

Red Hill is a phenomenally written, deeply heartfelt journey of survival and love in the midst of the zombie apocalypse! It grabs you from the first page and holds on to your heart long after you've finished! ♥

I first fell in love with Jamie McGuire's writing with her bad boy romance Beautiful Disaster and despite the fact that zombies aren’t usually “my thing”, I was absolutely blown away by this book! It had strong writing, a gripping plot, great balance between character development and action scenes, and a story that tugged your heartstrings. I absolutely LOVED it!!

But before I start the review, I just want to help clear up a few things that I've been asked a lot about ...

✦ First, this is not a zombie romance. No one falls in love with a zombie here. The main characters are all human. But the story is set against the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. So they present a constant danger to the characters' survival but none of the main characters are zombies. Promise.

✦ Second, this is not a paranormal book per say. The zombie element is described scientifically as a virus so there is no mystical or magical element, and there is no other remotely 'supernatural' element at all. In fact, I'd say the whole story had a very 'real life' feeling to it.

✦ Third, this is in part a romance but that is not the sole focus of the book. There are three main storylines (which I will explain in more detail below) that start off separate but as the story moves forward, they intersect and connect up. But I can say though that as a reader who absolutely needs romance in her books, I did not even for one second miss it in the parts of the book that were non-romance focused. I was connected to every word of the story. I loved both the romance and the action scenes. It's a wild ride and you really should just dive in! :)

Ok moving on to the actual review...

I really have to say that this is one of those books I honestly loved everything about. I genuinely do not have a single complaint about it and there isn't one thing I'd change. It was gripping, addictive, and hauntingly evocative. It made me feel like I was right there living the story along with the characters.

The story follows three main characters on a day when a deadly virus breaks out across the world which essentially kills people quickly and reanimates their dead bodies. The three characters are Scarlet, a single mom working as a nurse who is separated from her children on the day the disaster strikes and desperately tries to find them again; Nathan, an unhappy man trapped in a loveless marriage whose main focus after the zombies start to take over is getting his young daughter to a safe place; and Miranda, a college student heading to the country for the weekend with her sister and their boyfriends. At first, these characters' lives were all separate but as the story went on, we began to see them all overlap and connect up as they all, for one reason or another, make their way to the safety of Red Hill ranch. 

My heart was racing throughout most of my read. The action and the atmosphere was perfectly described. I could feel the growing panic -- the fear and uncertainty of the unknown coming in from all sides and the sheer helplessness of feeling like there was literally nowhere you could hide from it. The build up of tension was fabulously done in these little tiny details that together just made for that absolutely chilling feeling that came with the desperation of not knowing if your loved ones were safe, not knowing where to run to or where to find safety or how to save yourself or anyone else.

That being said, I woudn't say this is a horror book. It's not meant to terrify you out of your mind but at the same time... it's zombies, guys. There's feeding and biting and all manner of shudder-some details and I won't deny that I got jumpy while reading it... all of a sudden that strange noise outside my window could be anything! EEP! But honestly... I just couldn't get enough of it and couldn't put the book down.

One of the most important elements in this book that really made me fall in love with it was that these characters were smart. Nobody made any stupid decisions. These guys had seen movies, they'd watched TV shows, they knew how it worked. Nobody had "brilliant" ideas like -- 'Ooooh! Let's all split up in the dark to cover more ground' --- or anything like that. Nope. Once it registered with them that this was really happening, they all handled it in a smart, capable way and I LOVED IT!!!!

"I wasn't sure how long we could survive, but I knew I wasn't dying on day one of the fucking zombie apocalypse."

The writing was honestly just phenomenal. It was the kind where I really didn't even notice it because it created the world so seamlessly that it was like the words just melted away and the story played out in my head like a movie. It got me right inside the minds of each character. I knew exactly what they were all going through. The detail was perfect and yet so much happened!! It was fast paced without ever seeming rushed and the ending of each chapter made me need to flip the page. There was simply no good stopping point.

Another thing I appreciated was that I genuinely liked each of the main characters. They were all endearing, or relatable, or just plain awesome in their own way. The whole story was very interconnected! Pay attention to the details when you're reading, guys, because there are lots of little things where later on you go 'ohhhhhh, it was him!' or some such.

Ok, now, regarding the romance... Yes, there IS romance!! But as I mentioned above, it is not the sole focus of the book. I'd say that primarily this is a book about a group of characters trying to survive the zombie apocalypse but along the way (mostly in the second half of the book), some of them do find love. I felt deeply emotionally connected to everyone and honestly even the scenes that were not romantic had me just as riveted. I personally thought that the way the romance was woven into the story was really well done and very well balanced.

The ending had me almost in tears several times! I won't lie, some people die but certainly not everyone. There are survivors and I was very happy with the ending. It wasn't all hearts and rainbows but at the same time, it was actually kind of perfect for the story.

Overall, I was so incredibly impressed with this book. Jamie McGuire made me, a reader who isn't into zombie books, fall in love with it. The characters and their stories grabbed my heart and didn't let go. I still have a huge book hangover and am just not ready to move on yet. A part of me is still back at Red Hill.

5 stars!!

This is a standalone.

Thank you to the publishers at Atria for sending me an advance copy to review!!

Read the PROLOGUE at this link: http://aestasbookblog.com/prologue-re...


For more of my reviews, book news and updates:
Main blog: Aestas Book Blog
Facebook Blog Page

Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,793 followers
November 16, 2014

Red Hill was on my list of highly anticipated releases. I was looking forward to see how Jamie McGuire will handle writing in completely undiscovered by her genre and what fans of Beautiful Disaster, will say after reading such a different novel.

I was full of optimism, believing that McGuire wouldn’t have published something she knows won’t be in her readers’ taste. Writing post apocalyptic novel after focusing almost entirely on romance isn’t easy, especially when someone already has stable fan base, that clearly enjoys different literature category. On the contrary being an author who’s able to push readers out of their comfort zone and surprised them by being completely fixable is a risk that sometimes is worth the taking.

Unfortunately, for me McGuire totally flushed her chance down the toilet. I suppose she wanted the best, for herself – to push the limits as an author and try herself in something different, for publishers and media – to shock and gain new fans, and for her fans – to be finally able to do show them enjoyment in zombie novel.

Well, it didn’t work for me. As much as I liked her previous work, Red Hill, left me unsatisfied, bored and extremely tired.

Red Hill is like C class horror movie. Nothing unique or refreshing was thrown to the usual zombie sack, from one cliche to the other, from mutating virus, crazy scientists and biting to get infected, McGuire didn’t use any new twist to make her story more bearable. No, she just used every patent, I’ve already seen or read about. And as I completely understand that doing something new in this genre is really hard to achieve, I was clearly disappointed by her lack of creativity.

Also, there were this big plot holes, that didn’t make it any easier to understand why people acted the way they did. For example, story begins when Scarlet and her daughters start the next normal day in their lifes, when on the news, people talk about an epidemy in Europe, and complete chaos. The virus attacked Germany and the country changed into hell, people alternated into zombie like creatures, while USA citzens didn’t do anything at all. Scarlet confessed, she didn’t see any changes in US behavior. It was like nobody was paying attention to what was happening. The fact that airports were still working and people were still buying international flights really nailed it. I mean, who was so stupid to let people get infected in the Europe and then make it back to US to infect another country? Then in only a day all country is full of brainless zombies. People panic and kill each other and blah, blah (think of any zombie movie you’ve watched)

After being unsatisfied and bewildered by the apocalyptic part, I had my hopes in romance. But sadly, I was even more disappointed. Scarlet and Nathan met about 65-70% in, and almost immediately fell in love. I didn’t feel chemistry or anything. I didn’t even realized they already had feelings for each other when they had sex.

The novel ends in the stupidest way it could and epilogue made this story even more unrealistic. From ‘we are in hell’ things change to ‘lets start humanity from the beginning’ and ‘oh there will be few pink unicorns’.

Overall, Red Hill, killed a big part of me and my love for Jamie McGuire. I adore the decision to risking very much by publishing this novel, but I can’t comprehend why she chose this path. I fear, that most of McGuire fans will give this book four of five stars rating, not because it’s mind blowing book, that gave them everything they hoped for, but because of the author’s name. I observed this phenomenon with countless other writers and their fan base.

*ARC, provided by published via Edelweiss in exchange for honest review*
Profile Image for Christy.
3,919 reviews33k followers
April 20, 2015
4 Survival Stars!!!

 photo defaad73-efd1-499f-8817-4c7ad0652f7b_zps316611fc.jpg

I love all things zombie related. I’ve seen so many zombie movies and shows, and read graphic novels/books. I don’t know why they appeal to me so much. If this stuff ever happened in real life, I would be one of the first people to be a zombie, I have no doubts. I have no coordination, I can’t run very fast, I have poor aim, sharp objects freak me out and I don’t know how to use any weapons at all. Either way, I enjoy them. When I found out Jamie McGuire was writing a post apocalyptic zombie novel, I got all kinds of excited! This book was a little different than the average zombie story, but I really liked it. It’s not like Jamie’s other works. It’s not NA/YA/romance. Romance takes a backseat to survival. That is the main theme in this book. Survival. Finding a way for you and your loved ones to survive. Thats all any of these characters want.

 photo db7bfd29-5e4e-439a-9650-d36cc9e8d962_zpsfa3f1c94.jpg

It is just your average Friday for Scarlet. Her ex-husband has her daughters for the weekend, and she is working at the hospital as an x-ray tech.
Nathan’s life is predictable. Work his office job, come home only to take care of his daughter, Zoe and be ignored by his wife. This particular Friday, his wife happens to leave him.
Miranda is going to Red Hill for the weekend with her boyfriend Bryce, sister Ashely, and Ashely’s boyfriend Cooper. They are going to visit her father, who happens to be a doctor where Scarlet works.

Red Hill is written from the perspective of Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda. Their three lives, along with a few others connect and intertwine as the story goes on.

While working her Friday shift at the hospital, Scarlet notices things are starting to get a little weird. People are coming into the hospital after being bitten. By other people. When she gets off work, she knows things are even more crazy. She takes off to get to Red Hill. Her co-worker and friends place. She knows its the safest place for her. But she has to find a way to get to her daughters first.

Nathan is on his way to pick up Zoe from school when he notices things aren’t right. He goes back to his house to pick up his wife, only to find she left him and his daughter earlier that day. He goes to the next town over to his brother and sister-in-laws home. Skeeter (BiL) has a lot of weapons, he’s nothing like his sister (Nathan’s ex) and loves his niece more than anything. He knows it’s a safe place to be.

Miranda hasn’t been happy with her father since her parents divorce. She is anxious to spend the weekend with him. It’s a rough trip for the four of these college students. There is a lot of intensity around them. It won’t be easy to make it to their final destination, Red Hill. Along the way, they meet an ex-soldier named Joey. They also run into Nathan and Zoe. They all help each other in different ways...

‘It’s easy to forget that our lives before weren’t a dream. This isn’t the reality, how we are meant to live, or who we are.’

It’s a crazy, action packed ride. Especially the first 60ish% when everyone is trying to make their way to Red Hill. I liked the first half of the book, but I didn’t truly connect to all the characters until the last half. That last 40% was all kinds of amazing! And yes, some romance enters the picture towards the end. There were some moments that had me in tears. I was a little surprised that .

Overall, this was an entertaining read for me. I liked the characters (Nathan was my favorite, followed by Cooper). I loved the writing, and the story was unique and I enjoyed how everything came together. If your looking for something different, intense, and something that will keep you on the edge of your seat, with fantastic writing and relatable characters, I would recommend it. If you are looking for something with more romance, or something like BD or WD, this book won’t be for you. I could see where many readers wouldn’t enjoy this type of book, but I did! A solid 4 star read for me!

 photo cd1ca982-7db4-4794-93cf-4df9aa203eca_zps03547f4f.jpg
Profile Image for Rose.
1,879 reviews1,065 followers
November 19, 2014
Initial reaction:Curiosity got the best of me, and I was able to end up reading a copy of this from the library that's close to the university I live near.

This isn't going to be a long review, but I'll expound my thoughts about it in a bit of detail after meditating over it (I finished it several days ago and still trying to sort through thoughts about it.)

A few starting points to this review though:

1. I've learned Jamie McGuire can't write a book without slut shaming, whether it's directed towards men or women. Seriously, it's pretty ridiculous, but I've come to expect it in all the narratives I've picked up from her. But that's not why this is a 1-star read (or less). There were more than a few issues with the narrative not just in thematic, but with the science and procedural details as well, so the bad science in "Apolonia" was not a one-off occurrence.

2. If you have to make a lot of references in your narrative justifying a character's actions/reactions based on what happens "in the movies" - that's lazy writing. Show what your characters do in the heat of the moment, don't defer to "zombie movies" or things like that in pop culture to justify or illuminate things in your novels, because that doesn't always work, and when you're constantly doing it - it shows. In this, it was too much.

I'll have more to come in this review later on. First have to work on a few other reviews for reads that I enjoyed far better than this one. But I can say I took one for the team again, I guess. Some part of me thought I'd be wrong about how McGuire chose to write a zombie novel, but in the end, that wasn't the case.

Full review:

Short and sweet review, as promised.

So, I took a risk and picked up "Red Hill" because I conveniently saw it at my library and thought "Why not?" (Drive by read, huzzah! But I'd picked up some other books from the library in the meantime, so it was an impulse decision.) For the record, I do enjoy zombie novels. I've enjoyed movies and TV series featuring zombies (*cough* The Walking Dead - even if I'm massively behind watching that *cough*). This is technically the third paranormal novel I've read from Jamie McGuire. ("Providence" - angels, "Apolonia" - aliens, "Red Hill" - zombies.) Angel novels and alien novels have tended to be hit and miss with me for thematic, but zombies? I haven't read many books with zombies I haven't liked.

That streak was broken with this book, but I expected that. I'm convinced that McGuire just doesn't do sci-fi/paranormal/romance very well. Even with the potential for different explorations and expansions, it's still cut from the same cloth and problems as her other narratives. I just haven't really seen any author who's failed to get out of the same niche and offenses in just about every narrative they've written.

This book trades between the perspectives of Nathan, Scarlet, and Miranda. Nathan's a man with a broken family (wife leaves him, purportedly suffers from depression), Miranda's a health worker trying to reunite with her family, especially her two daughters, and Miranda's a teenager concerned about exams. At least this is the situation before the world descends into chaos.

The worldbuilding in this book does not make a whole lot of sense. I had to suspend a lot of disbelief for the situation with numerous contradictions and things that health care workers would never do as far as Blood Borne Pathogen training is concerned. (I should know, I was trained in that. *frowns*) There would be so many other things to consider in the outbreak as well, but considering this was a factor that was the set up or the story, I looked past it.

Characters weren't really developed past their template construction or set motivations. Plus the genre cliche reared its ugly head here, for both NA and zombie media considerations. Granted, Nathan's wife left him and their daughter Zoe behind, but Nathan spares no time calling his a wife a "bitch" to which he follows up with expansions that she suffered from depression. Scarlet slut shames her husband all the while talking about her "babies" (I promise you, between Nathan and Scarlet - they used the word "baby" or "babies" more times than in a Justin Bieber song. I understood that it was a term of endearment for their children, but the repetition was very annoying - and what are the chances that they would use the same term of endearment for their kids that often - it made me feel like the character voices ran together too much).

Yet those conflicts were a part of the vehicle that ultimately served Nathan and Scarlet's relationship later on. It felt too convenient and the insta-love didn't help matters much. Don't get me started with Miranda. I think Miranda's character was very shallow in presentation, and the purported love triangle/jealousy factor didn't work for me. Neither did a certain character dying like it was an afterthought. It was telegraphed by another character and conveniently after a tense scene where the dead character just so happened to try to hurt the sentiments of the speaking character. Oy vey.

The narrative dictation was ultimately tedious and boring in many places, the repetition not helping, contributing to the downfall of what could've been decent scenes. McGuire doesn't know how to show these details, particularly when it comes to character motivation. There's a balance to be had there. When the action scenes came, some of it was okay (one of the scenes where Nathan's daughter was in peril and which ended up in the sacrifice of a major character was actually done well), but then it would be followed by things that would undercut said scenes of tension. Which for the love of holy - I didn't understand. You have a scene that stands okay by itself for showing, why would you undermine that by repeating the information and shortchanging it by trying to tell your audience what they should think about it via the character's mouth?

Sense this does not make.

Repetition and assumption was a big problem in this narrative. Between certain turns of wording, between the narrative constantly changing its reference to what "zombies" are in this novel (It wasn't fun to keep up with, and certainly not cute), and even making the characters somehow zombie fighting experts by having them rely on portrayals of what they've seen "in the movies?" And constantly referring back to that particular factor in the narrative?

That's lazy writing, people. Seriously, that is lazy writing.

*sighs* But I digress. Very little, if anything worked for me in this read and it felt tedious to get through. Long story short, the worldbuilding in this was threadbare and inconsistent (and quite unresearched), the characters felt pale and forced to convenient plot points and telegraphed motivations (save for maybe a few points where it lent to interesting scenarios, but were ultimately one-off events), the romance was undeveloped and too quick, the action sequences, knowledge and tensions trying to rely too much on other zombie survival media, and it all felt very "Hollow-wood" to say the least.

I can't recommend it.

Overall score: 1/5 stars
Profile Image for Brianna H.
107 reviews
September 11, 2016

This review contains swear words, just FYI, if you're one of those proper ladies...don't want to offend anyone.
Also! There are spoilers in this review. There is a second warning before they begin. :)

When I heard Jamie McGuire say she was inspired by The Walking Dead and was writing a book about it...

When I saw the cover...

When the UPS guy showed up...

When I saw my book...

When I realized how beautifully the story weaved together...

When I started getting jumpy around my family and they asked me why I was reading it...

!!!!!-x-x-x-x-x-x-SPOILERS BELOW-x-x-x-x-x-x-!!!!!

When Scarlet started her "clearing" bullshit...

And then shit just started to piss me off...

When Cooper died...

When Joey died...

When Bryce and Miranda died...

If that wasn't enough to make me want to punch something...

When Scarlet's daughters showed up...

My feels at the end of this book...

I loved it, ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT...until the end.
So here's the basics...
Favorite Characters: Joey, Miranda, and Nathan
The Writing: Fabulous
75% of the book: Fantastic
The End: Corny and frustrating
Call me coldhearted, but there's no way two little girls survive a zombie apocalypse for a week alone.
Never gonna happen.

What I was anticipating the whole time:
Scarlet comes to terms that her kids are gone.
MAYBE one of her daughters makes it. But both? No way.
Miranda gets together with Joey.
Maybe Bryce dies... *shrug*
Scarlet and Nathan stick together.
I did like the end in the fact that the world was starting to get back on it's feet at the end.

So, I give it 3 Stars, which is probably being too lenient. I really did love most of it, it's just the end. I don't buy it. But that doesn't mean I wasn't glued to the damn thing.

Profile Image for Kristen Mazzola.
Author 67 books1,098 followers
October 19, 2014
I bought Red Hill on pre-order having no idea anything about it other than Jamie McGuire being the author. And I am so glad I did.

Most of the story I was either:


Because I cared about all of the characters so much. So when the happiness started to flow in, I couldn't help but be so ecstatic!

And by the end I was freaking out about how great of a book Red Hill was!

Red Hill is gripping, heart wrenching, and touching. A complete page turner for zombie, thriller, and romance all rolled together. The descriptions and story line are exactly what I picture for an apocalypse and Jamie did a great job!! I highly recommend this read for lovers of good story, I feel like it crosses genre lines and almost anyone could truly enjoy this story!
Profile Image for exploraDora.
553 reviews271 followers
May 15, 2020

***5 BLOWN AWAY stars***

DAMN, was this book amazing!! I can't stop thinking about it, about how well it was written and how perfectly paced and full of emotion it is.

First off I want to say that I'm basically sold when I hear about apocalypse and/or zombies in a story - be it a book, movie or TV show. But not everything I end up reading/seeing is always good. I've disliked hyped books such as World War Z or Warm Bodies, and now LOVED this under appreciated masterpiece.

OK, so going in we meet three characters and get to experience the beginning of the outbreak through their eyes. There are three POVs:

The story kicks off with Scarlett who is dropping her two daughters at school before work. She is a technician at a hospital and is right in the middle of it when it all starts. We see through her how this strange flu-like illness affects a patient. Now this is where I knew that I'd love this book, because Jamie McGuire does an amazing job at explaining what's happening, how the body reacts to the virus after infection, all with a ton of details. It all felt so real and plausible, especially now in the time of a full, real-life global pandemic. Can you imagine working in a hospital when shit starts to hit the fan? Yeah, that's purely terrifying.

Scarlett is a strong, fierce and fearless woman, who is on a mission to find her girls amidst a rapidly spreading outbreak that's turning everything to chaos. But the girls have been picked up by her dickhead of an ex-husband, an angry playboy firefighter. So she will raise Hell to get them back safely. Oh, and did I mention that she's a survivalist who loves zombie movies herself and always had an escape plan for "just in case" type of situations? No? Well, she's badass to the bone.

Next, we meet Nathan, who has just been left by his wife, to care for their young daughter, Zoe, because he was "the one who always wanted children", it's not in her to be a mum. Perfect timing, because Nathan now he has to fight harder than ever to be strong for himself and his little girl.

"Watching a movie about zombies is one thing. Watching zombies outside your window was another. The movies didn't talk about that. Well . . . maybe they did, but they didn't drive home how terrifying each moment truly was. I tried not to think about tomorrow, or that we would still be fighting for our lives every day from now on. I glanced back at Zoe, and choked back the sadness welling up in my throat. I didn't want her to grow up in a world like this." - this quote sums him up perfectly.

And then there's Miranda, a college girl traveling with her sister and their boyfriends. Their father is the one that brings them all together, because he's the owner of a house on "Red Hill" and it's the best place to be at in case of an apocalypse.

There is constant suspense throughout the novel and I was gripped from the beginning. As one could expect from this type of story, there are some heart-breaking moments of loss, because not everyone will get out alive in times like that. Difficult decisions have to be made constantly and there are many uncomfortable and horrible topics covered beyond just the zombies. Sadly, there's also a realistic and relevant aspect compared to our society, especially nowadays with the COVID-19 pandemic going on, and it only made it all the more awful. But Jamie handled everything sooooo well!

I loved so many things in this book and I want to quickly mention a few more:

- the fact the characters pretty much refuse to call the infected "zombies", because they're aware of how silly that is. So they find different names for them, finally settling on "Teds" and the reason why they do so is the cutest ❤️

- the fact that this is not your average zombie bloodbath, with guts and heads flying off all the time. There is death, obviously. There is gore! But the focus is on the people and how they're doing everything to stay alive. Just because the world has gone to hell, does not mean you stop living

- the way these three main characters meet and how they're all connected through Red Hill

- as I mentioned in the beginning, the fact that I finally got to read more about how such a disease would spread through the human body, how a person is affected by it and then becomes a walking corpse

- the fact that the end of the world could actually be a new, better beginning for some people

- I LOVED the fact that, unlike every other zombie story, here they die down after a while, become less and less in numbers aaaand also weaker. The whole story has this "realistic" vibe to it

- the emotion of each character is palpable. You feel Scarlett's pain, as she is trying to do everything in her power to make sure her two daughters can reach her and she never looses faith that they will reach her, but you also feel for Nathan, Miranda and Ashley

- the ending is freaking awesome!! For someone looking for an action packed ride, you might end up disappointed, but I thought it was perfect!

Hands down, this is one of my favorite reads this year and I KNOW I'll be re-reading it sooner rather than later.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,910 reviews852 followers
April 21, 2014
4.5 Stars

I’ve always been a fan of zombie stories, and usually they’re told in an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world type scenario, and I’ve always been attracted to those types of tales. Not sure exactly what about them that appeals to me, but part of it is the challenges faced in the fight to survive. Red Hill was a thrilling, personal story that brought out a mix of emotions, and I enjoyed every second of it!

Red Hill was the zombie apocalypse told from three perspectives: Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda.

is a divorced single mother desperately trying to find her two daughters after all hell broke loose. She was separated from her girls when they go to spend the weekend with their father and she drives off to work. Scarlet has one mission, one goal, and that is to reunite with her daughters and find someplace safe to hole up. I felt a keen connection to Scarlet as a mother and could easily relate to the desperate determination she felt trying to find her girls. I was rooting for her success and biting my nails nervously at every turn. Scarlet was incredibly brave and one tough lady, and I admired her even when I didn’t completely agree with some of her decisions in the end. Would I make the same choices, knowing it endangered my life or those around me? Maybe. Probably.

, a recently abandoned husband and father to seven-year old, Zoe is scrambling to find a safe haven after the outbreak with his daughter in tow. He was stuck in a loveless marriage and trying hold everything together for his daughter who has special needs. I don’t think her condition was ever named but she might have had Asperger’s syndrome. I felt his depression and sad resignation at his situation as the story began, but all that changed with the outbreak. Ironically, the apocalypse sort gave Nathan a new lease on life, and I was hoping he’d get a happy ending. Even though romance wasn’t the focus of this story I was hoping that Scarlet and Nathan would connect and I wasn’t disappointed.

starts the story as a college student escaping for a weekend away with her sister and their boyfriends, and then a run for their lives when the situation becomes crazy. They were on their way to her father’s weekend home, Red Hill to spend time with him and now they can’t get there fast enough. My heart broke for her and her boyfriend, Bryce at the situation they find themselves in when the get to Red Hill.

We get the end of the world told from each Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda’s personal perspectives, and I loved how their stories overlapped each other until they all come to the same point: Red Hill. Their struggles, emotional and otherwise felt real and made a zombie apocalypse feel very possible.

This is not the first story I’ve read and enjoyed of Jaime McGuire’s, but I was surprised Red Hill was so completely different from Beautiful Disaster. Being able to switch from one genre to another and still manage to tell a moving story really impressed me.

I listened to the audio version of Red Hill, and I highly recommend it. There were three different narrators: January LaVoy as Scarlet had an appealing, low, sultry voice, and the determination and sincerity as a mother on a mission came through loud and clear with her performance. Zachary Webber as Nathan did an amazing job conveying his depression in the beginning, and boy was his voice ever sexy! Emma Galvin as Miranda sounded age perfect: fresh, plucky and strong. I thought each did a brilliant job!

You can read this review and more at The Readers Den.
Profile Image for Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen.
1,683 reviews600 followers
May 11, 2015
**4.5 Skeeter Stars**

Wow...when I found out that Ms. McGuire wrote a Zombie Apocalypse book - I was stunned and just had to get my hands on it. I loved her Beautiful Disaster book and am a big fan of her writing.

And I have to tell you that I wasn't disappointed in the least ---- except for a few little things I would have liked to have seen done differently. For example the romance between Nathan and Scarlet could have been drawn out and described a bit more.

Plus...by the last 30% of the book - every other chapter, I found myself bawling like a baby.

I do want to add that I tip my hat to Ms. McGuire because she did the ONE thing that didn't piss me off like so many of the other Zombie Apocalypse books do. These characters KNEW about zombies - and referenced what they saw in movies and TV ---- they didn't waste a chapter trying to shoot the damn thing everywhere but the head. They knew a bite would bring them back...etc.

The book is told in multiple POV's and even though these characters start out not having a clue about each other - it's amazing how Ms. McGuire makes the world seem so small and how fate can draw people together to the same place.
Profile Image for Kathylill .
162 reviews176 followers
November 4, 2013
I’ve been really looking forward to a new zombie novel with lots of creepy zombies and suspenseful moments and maybe a little bit of romance; unfortunately this wasn’t it. The whole book felt like a washed out version of The Walking Dead with mostly flat and lacking characters, less world-building and a lot less creepy.

When I first read the title “Red Hill” I thought of “Silent Hill” – the horror movie and I expected at least a little bit of that: Horror, suspense, adrenalin, nail-biting moments. But almost 50% into the story I feel nothing at all, watching the three main characters drifting on the verge of a zombie apocalypse, trying to reach Red Hill, an isolated country house and being bored out of my mind. There is something dull about the story, maybe the pacing or the language. I can’t exactly say why, but it’s just dull. After reading five minutes I look for something else to do, or start skipping entire chapters or skimming through the pages. I have the impression it’s an exhaustive enumeration of she did this and then did that and then she turned and walked away…

“Tears threatened to moisten my eyes once again, but instead I let anger take control. The helplessness I felt at not being able to get to my children sent me into a rage (…) the can opener was in the silverware drawer, but I left it, hopeful that Andrew would remember to pack it if he wasn’t already on the road. I also took a plastic reusable water bottle.”

You are surrounded by zombies, you can’t find your children you‘re frustrated and furious but you have time to reason that maybe your children would need a can opener if they maybe come back to the house? And water bottles are almost always reusable, especially the plastic ones. So why tell me so precisely? It doesn’t make sense and it irritates me.

“I grabbed one more item, zipped the backpack, and then returned to the front room. I pulled some frames off the wall, and then shook the can in my hand. The aerosol hissed as I pressed my index finger on the trigger, my arm swaying with the silent music of my good-bye as it formed large, conspicuous black words.”

Do people really leave their black aerosol lying in the laundry room, together with (oh how convenient) a flashlight, some batteries, a large screwdriver and a folding knife? Really give me a break. It was all just so conveniently placed throughout the book. Even the house on the Red Hill was conveniently supplied with enough guns and rifles and ammunition to kill 1000s of the shufflers and enough food to last a lifetime for 10 people. No need to go scavenging or raiding supermarkets or think about farming. Apparently there was even enough toilet paper and shampoo or medicine so you needn’t even mention it. Puhleeease. This is no survival book; it’s a book about convenient but unrealistic circumstances like how they all almost meet at the church, how they go to Red Hill and how convenient every car is full of fuel.

60% into the story all main characters are on the Red Hill, house secured, with water and food supply, electricity. Yeah you name it! Now we move into the romance part. >Romance should be shown and not told. Authors have to show me, make me believe that their main characters really care about each other. But the romance of Scarlet and Nathan comes out of the blue. One moment they are talking, the next they’re holding hands and we read from Nathan’s view how she is such a strong women and that he doesn’t have the balls to kiss her. Yuck. It makes Nathan, the ex-football player who still works out in the gym and has a body to show it into a wussy boy. And well after slaughtering a few Zombies there is nothing as good as sex. So we get treaded to a sex scene between Scarlet and Nathan. More yuck. His lips are red from kissing her body. Brrrrrrr. too much information for my imagination.

Also up until this point Scarlet was an almost amiable character with potential: a strong-willed woman wants to get to her children. But they are not in the house so what do you do? You spray a message on the wall and go to Red Hill and wait there. No need to call your ex-husbands mobile to try to get in touch with him. But then after weeks of sitting on the porch waiting for her girls to come over the hill, she suddenly starts packing a gun and wants to go all Rambo on the TEDs (our Zombies). Elleny, a 13 year old girl that has been sexually abused, wants to go with her. So naturally you answer this:

“I can’t concentrate if I’m watching out for you, too. Got it?”

You insensitive bitch! Why not tell her loud and clear that she is unfit and too stupid to live. Maybe you should have spent less time on the porch with Nathan and more time with this girl showing her how to shoot and survive.

Or here a conversation between her and Nathan:

S: “Don’t you know by now that I can take care of myself.” (after patrolling a few times and going Rambo on the Zombies)
N: “Yeah, and it scares the hell out of me. I have tried to understand, but I can’t let you do this Scarlet. It’s reckless.” (No shit Baby, she has the trousers on and you pee yourself thinking of going out. Don’t you have any balls?)
S: “You don’t get to tell me what to do just because we fucked in the yard.” (Uh that was real smart and so nice to say to the guy)
N: You can push me away all day long, but I’m in love with you. I love you, Scarlet, and it would destroy me if anything happened to you.”

Let’s get this very clear; this love declaration is laughable and it makes me vomit. Here you have a 200 pounds muscled flannel-bimbo with no backbone giving the love-speech to our tough cookie the Über-mother that came from the same gene pool as Conan the Barbarian.

What I missed completely in this novel was how the government and military reacted to the threat or the general public. There must have still been some radio and tv stations broadcasting, at least people with batteries and cars could have listened to something. But the military makes an appearance ONE YEAR after the outbreak with jets and an atomic bomb over Wichita. I shit you not. A few days later they even come with a helicopter to Red Hill explaining that not even though you could see the mushroom on the horizon this was not an atomic bomb and the fallout was not radioactive. Yes sure, how is it possible to have a mushroom cloud without the atomic bomb? It’s not! Geez. It’s not as if you can get the radiation out of the nuclear fission reaction in the bomb.

There are dozens of apocalyptic novels out there that are way better.
Profile Image for Frank Phillips.
528 reviews262 followers
August 15, 2019
Well, well Mrs. McGuire! You may have just redeemed yourself in my book! I picked this book up at a thrift store because the plot sounded interesting, and I must confess I had never read a zombie apocalypse themed novel before. I went into this not expecting a whole lot, as I read McGuire's Beautiful Disaster earlier this summer and it did not do much for me. I'm very glad to say I was pleasantly surprised and even more so, impressed! This book read much better than Beautiful Disaster in my opinion, almost as though it was written by a different author. That says a lot about this author's talent in my book. This book started out with a bang and did not let up until the last sentence. The characters felt real to me, and the plot was realistic as well (as much as a zombie plot can be anyway). I liked that in this novel you never knew who would end up surviving, it kept me at the edge of my seat! I hope there are more books, if this is a series because i'm hooked! The only critique i'd have to give is that i felt like the ending seemed a bit rushed, simply because so much happened in the last few pages and i'm still reeling. Great read for those horror fans out there, definitely give this one a shot!
Profile Image for Cristina.
343 reviews321 followers
Want to read
August 23, 2015
DNF audio version - No rating (yet anyway)

Ok...so apparently audio books aren't for me. I wanted to give it a try but I definitely prefer reading to listening when it comes to books.

So I'm putting this one away and when I find the time I'm going to try it again...in reading style this time :P


Profile Image for Tough Critic Book Reviews.
308 reviews2,162 followers
September 28, 2013
BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr5x-W...

Conjunction junction what's your function, Lord have mercy I have been conundrumed. <----Yes, Red Hill has officially turned conundrum into a verb. Nouns are so 1990s anyway.

I must admit, that if this book had been written by anyone other than Jamie McGuire, I probably (most definitely) wouldn't have picked it up. Zombies??....ehhh. Even in the beginning, I was a little (a lot) concerned when I wasn't immediately hit over the head by romance. However, the romance was supplemented by curiosity, and in spite of myself, I wanted to know more, read more. Next thing I knew, I was completely and helplessly immersed.

I know, I know. This is where you romance fanatics run far far away; quicker than a topless blond in a horror flick.


Everything romantic about this book is subtle. Subtle in a way that evokes true emotion, true feelings. It makes everything feel so damn real. The quiet execution of the romance (because yes it is there) is what makes this book one of the best romances I've read. It's because I cared. I cared almost too much. It drew me in from page one and kept its grip throughout its entirety. That would have never happened without development, and Jamie developed the hell out of this one! I needed that development. Thank God Jamie McGuire is smarter than me.

If I would have gotten exactly what I wanted from the beginning, it wouldn't have meant near as much, and by the end...it meant everything. I was left thinking (more like aching) about the story for days...days I tell you. Who gives a shit if you don't give a shit, but Jamie McGuire made me give a shit.

I may have mentioned subtle romance, but this book is extremely fast paced; a page turner! I just wanted to make sure that the those who probably wouldn't give this book a chance, do. The first step is opening the book, Jamie McGuire will take it from there. She will shock and stun your emotions only to completely overwhelm you with them later. You have to give it a chance or you might as well kick your own ass right now.

This book was not for me...until it was. It was. It was. It. Was.

How many times do I see people complaining about reading the same thing over and over again, being in a book slump. Wanting something new, different. This is a big bite of different, and it's delicious. It's a book I never expected to like.

To be honest, I never got into Red Hill...It got into me.

You will never know until you open the book.


More reviews at toughcriticbookreviews.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Gena Puro.
121 reviews17 followers
October 3, 2013
**2 disappointing stars**

Expectations too high?

Red Hill was one of my most anticipated releases for this year. Having read The Warm Bodies (which I totally loved), I feel like this book doesn't have a unique story line when it comes to the usual zombie drama. Don’t get me wrong I love the writing, but I felt that the story was lacking of creativity and I only connected with Scarlet’s character ONLY in the beginning. Then I hated her for the latter part of the book. The beginning of the book had me on the edge of my seat then I slowly moved to get more comfortable because I was bored.

Red Hill was told in Scarlet, Nathan & Miranda’s POVs. Scarlet, a mother separated from her two daughters at the beginning of the book and made her life’s mission to find them again (sacrificing lives left and right). Nathan, a father searching for a safe place for his daughter. And Miranda (the slut ;D) searching for Red Hill with her group. Mind you that this book is a romance book too, so I had my hopes in romance since being left unsatisfied by the apocalyptic part. But then the romance part showed its ugly head in about 60%+ of the book!! This is where Nathan & Scarlet finally met. And boom! insta-love. Guess there is no build up there *rolling eyes*. I HATED Miranda’s character. She led me to believe that she loved Bryce. I really believe that Bryce genuinely love her. And then she met Joey. I had nothing against the guy, but realizing that Miranda has her eyes set on him and that cheating was bound to happen made me slowly hate him too. Sad, I know. But Cooper, I like. He was the only character in the book that I honestly loved.

And finally that ending. What kind of ending was that?!! Although I was happy that , the ending was so unrealistic! I mean who would want to stay in a house on a hill where there was shortage of food and water, a place where your friends died or in Scarlet’s case sacrificed (hehe) and let’s not forget the creepers.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed in the lack of originality and creativity of the book. Maybe she could’ve made the zombie fly? or made them drive a car? lol. Wait can the zombies even run in this book?.
Profile Image for Ninoshka•.
85 reviews129 followers
September 6, 2016
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Estaba tan emocionada para empezar este libro ''Hello es de Jamie'' desde un principio el libro empezó estúpido y lento ''pero eso no me detuvo seguí leyendo'' claro..pero el libro llegaba a unas partes que te quedabas O.o enserio?Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
no podía mas con este libro No podía mas!Image and video hosting by TinyPic..
pero me obligue a terminarlo,no me gusta dejar un libro sin terminal por mas malo que sea :)..En fin estuvo tan malo :/ no entiendo como hay personas que le dieron cinco estrellas y mira que trate y trate de que me gustara amo a Jamie pero no, no, no, no.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic :)
May 23, 2020
Edit 5/22/20:


Red Hill works as a garden variety zombie apocalyps novel.

I'm not a huge fan of this particular horror subgenre, so it took me a bit to get to this one.

When I finally did, I found it to be more enjoyable than I thought.

You've got the requisite gore, grief,, hope, and romance.

You've also got the kickass heroine who runs toward the screams and biting rather than whimper, cry, and hide behind the men in the group.

If you enjoyed Dawn of the dead, Night of the Living Dead, Return of the Living Dead, or any other classic zombie flick, you'll like this one.

Note: McGuire is a BBA and a bigot, and I have shelved the book accordingly.
Profile Image for Wendy Lohr.
Author 19 books34 followers
November 30, 2014
My Thoughts:

Gripping. Suspenseful. Emotional. Heart-wrenching. Devastating. These are words that should describe any zombie apocalyptic novel with the rare exception of those zombie novels that were meant to be more humorous. Unfortunately, Red Hill did not fit with any of these descriptions and quite frankly dashed all of my hopes of escaping into a good zombie novel.

The story is told from 3 POV’s – Scarlett, Nathan, and Miranda. So, let’s talk about the characters first and break down what worked and what didn’t for me. Beginning with Scarlett – this character had so much potential to be a character that everyone could get behind and cheer for. She was intelligent, resourceful, and strong as well as being very compassionate. She’s a single mother of two daughters who she would do anything for. From the very beginning, you can sense her desperation and frustration at being separated from her children and the need to find them and protect them as the world disintegrates into chaos. All of this was convincing and worked well for the first half of the book. Then, unnatural, unrealistic things begin to take place and suddenly Scarlett becomes a one-dimensional character that I can’t relate to at all and feel nothing towards. So, from the beginning of the book until she reaches Red Hill, I completely understand her and sympathize with her and totally get her. From the time she reaches Red Hill until the end, I don’t even know who she is. It was very strange and very disappointing to see this drastic change happen to a character with such kick-arse potential.

Moving along to Nathan – I honestly enjoyed his POV the most. His interactions with his daughter, Zoe, were just so precious and so natural, that I loved both of them and wanted to see things turn out alright for them in the end. His character felt the most real to me and the situations he dealt with along the way just made the most sense. And once he arrived at Red Hill, he didn’t change as a person. I did have a hang-up with the romance thing, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

And then there’s Miranda – Teenager on her way to Red Hill, which is owned by her father, and bringing along her long-time boyfriend, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend. Miranda was a flat, uninteresting character throughout the novel and I felt nothing when things happened to her or her sister or their friends or their family. I couldn’t relate to Miranda at all on any level and felt that her POV was piggy-backing on the other two character’s POV so much that I wasn’t learning anything new from Miranda. In all honesty, her POV could have gone away completely and I’m pretty confident I wouldn’t have missed anything.

So, needless to say, character development and interactions were not very well done in this novel with a few rare exceptions and even those weren’t as good as they could have been. And anyone who has ever read any of my reviews knows what a huge proponent I am for character development and interactions. Now let’s move on to the plot.

Just as in any zombie novel, you have some sort of cause for the zombie apocalypse. Red Hill is the same, but where it got confusing was which path was truly the cause. At the very beginning and only for a brief glimpse, the reader is informed of a doctor in Germany who was basically playing Dr. Frankenstein and bringing dead people back to life. Things got out of hand and he died and then some pandemic took over Europe. Then, another brief glimpse (again at the beginning of the novel) mentions something about the flu vaccine and if someone had the vaccine, they were susceptible to turning into a zombie. Here’s my confusion – which of these two caused the actual zombie apocalypse? Or were they supposed to both be equally responsible? And if so, how were they connected? See my problem? I don’t know which of these to believe and neither one of them were ever discussed again for the entirety of the novel. Each theory got about a half-page mention at most and then nothing, not even at the end when things were being wrapped up neatly and tied with a bow.

Okay, on to the world-building. Chaos and fear and zombies all go hand in glove and this book presented pretty much the same thing that every other zombie book I’ve read has presented. The problem with this book was that it presented it in such a sterile form, that I never once found myself gripping the arms of my chair or nervous about what was going to happen next or shocked when something happened that I wasn’t expecting. Most of the time, I knew way before the actual event happened, so that completely destroyed any suspense that might have built up in the meantime or any shock factor that might have resulted had I actually not known what was going to happen. The ending felt rushed and was tied up way too neatly to feel realistic for the type of apocalyptic world that was attempting to be portrayed. And the zombies themselves were just mediocre. There was nothing horrendous or disgusting or detailed about any of the scenes, so the entire book just felt sterile to me.

I mentioned earlier something about romance. Yes, there is romance in this book, and no, it did not lend anything to the book. The romances that were attempting to form felt so unnatural and forced, that I couldn’t imagine why the effort was even put into establishing any sort of romance to begin with. So, if you’re hoping for a good romance mixed in with a zombie apocalypse, this might actually disappoint you some.

Overall, I had good expectations for escaping into an intriguing take on the zombie apocalypse, but came away utterly disappointed. The only thing that saved this book from the DNF pile or a 1-star rating was reading Nathan’s POV. The characters, with a couple of exceptions, were one-dimensional and didn’t engage me enough to care one way or another with how they came out in the end; the plot was weak and unsatisfying, leaving me with a lot more questions than answers and the ending was rushed and tied up way too neatly; the world-building was sterile, for lack of better word to describe it; and the romance was completely unnecessary and felt forced and unnatural. So, if you are a huge fan of the zombie genre, I would not, in good conscience, be able to recommend this book. If you’ve not experienced the zombie genre before, this might be an okay read and you might even enjoy it, but in my opinion, there are much better books in the zombie genre out there to check out. And if you just have your heart set on reading this, then please do because it might be something that works for you. It just didn’t work for me.
Profile Image for Imy♥♥.
170 reviews96 followers
January 3, 2014
I became seriously disappointed, about halfway through reading this.

I guess it didn't live up to my expectations when I think of reading a book by Jamie McGuire - and a book such as this one I expected to be an awesome read, it did try to be that, but failed in doing so in my eyes.
Zombie fandom is huge. From the Zombie Survival guide books to The Walking Dead, and to write such a book with only having written romance novels is a huge risk, and it's either going to be a hit or miss, sadly it was a miss.

There was no real substance to the book. The characters weren't all that easy to connect with, at first maybe they were, but after a point they all kind of turned into idiotic, self centred people. Now I'm not saying that's not completely normal for a post apocalyptic world. Actually I've regrettably never been in a post apocalyptic world, so what do I know, but what I DO know is that (and this is said in the nicest way possible) the book turned to shit.

At times I felt it was too fast, certain things occurred in the book that I thought was absurdly unnecessary, leaving the reader, or in this case (me) bloody annoyed.

I don't understand why there was a need to up the pace of the novel, I was actually quite enjoying the first few chapters, but well - like I said...shit.

Although I didn't enjoy reading Red Hill, I do like Jamie McGuire's other books, so I wont be deterred from reading her novels again.
Profile Image for AJ.
2,935 reviews959 followers
October 6, 2013
“I wasn’t sure how long we could survive, but I knew I wasn’t dying on day one of the fucking zombie apocalypse.”

From the very beginning, this book is an intense ride as we watch three separate characters react to the onset of the zombie apocalypse. Told in mixed POV, we follow them from their initial understanding of what is happening, and through the events that follow in brutal, terrifying, emotional and, sometimes lighthearted, detail.

“Why do you keep saying that? It’s not zombies, that’s ridiculous!” she said.
“Viral outbreak. The infected are attacking and biting people. They said cadavers this morning. What do you think it is, Ash? Herpes?”

Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda are great narrators. With each of them at different stages of their life, they each have a different perspective to the unfolding horrors. But they, and their companions, are all trying their hardest to survive the world going to hell around them, and to eventually make it to the what they hope is safety in a remote farmhouse – Red Hill.

As their journeys intersect and overlap unexpectedly, we get to know them, and the supporting characters really well, and I found myself invested in everybody’s stories. Other characters are introduced along the way as the survivors band together to escape the horror surrounding them, and it’s an emotional rollercoaster as they face deadly enemies, try to protect their loved ones, and friends are made and lost.

Told with devastating, brutal reality, Jamie McGuire has created a wonderfully descriptive apocalyptic world that is terrifying but engrossing. Her characters react realistically to the unrealness of their situation (in my opinion of what would go down in a zombie apocalypse anyway :P), and I thought the links that McGuire created along the way were really clever. I would have liked to have seen more of particular characters (Cooper, Joey, Skeeter), but I liked that she didn’t pull any punches with how everything played out. And, to top it off, there is even a little bit of love story that had the romance fan in me swooning and gripping on to any little moment of happy that I could get!

“I like you too,” he said. And then he walked away, leaving me in a puddle of holy shit and inappropriate thoughts.

I admit, I haven’t watched zombie movies, or read a lot of zombie books, but I thought Jamie did a really great job with this. The events behind the outbreak, and the zombies/shufflers/creepers/teds themselves seem fairly standard in the genre, but she put a whole heap of heart into the story, and had me genuinely concerned about the lives of her characters. Along the way my heart was pounding, I may have been guilty of screeching out 'Holy Fuck' once or twice, I even cried! And then the ending was surprising in more ways than one . But overall, I thought this was an emotional, exciting ride, and I was enthralled from start to finish.

I loved it – 4 stars.
Profile Image for Holly.
510 reviews515 followers
December 3, 2013
A romance that takes place during the zombie apocalypse. What's not to love, right?

Well, there were several things that I did love about this book.
I liked that the zombie aspect wasn't watered down (yet definitely not overly gory).
I enjoyed the differing POV's. I know that multiple points of view in a story annoy some people, but I quite enjoy them when done well, as they were here. I loved how each character's storyline intersected with each other throughout the first half of the book, so when they all do finally converge at Red Hill, it made sense.
Where the story started to lose some of it's punch, was during the last third or so of the book - when the focus shifted to the rather melodramatic romances between several of the main characters.
Nathan was a great character when he was running for his life and trying to protect his daughter, Zoe. Scarlet was a badass when she was searching for her two missing daughters. But put them together? Not so much. Their relationship had this whole 'insta-love' feel to it that I just did not buy. And the love triangle that developed between 3 of the other characters also didn't really work for me as well. My problem was that I really liked all of these characters...until they started to really interact with each other.
Speaking of characters...considering this book takes place during the apocalypse, it's not exactly surprising that not everyone makes it to the end. I have to say, I was really surprised by how many characters ended up being killed off...and in some cases by some of the ones who survived.
But, there was one instance where the death of a character was not only unexpected, but also not fully explained. And this particular death was my biggest pet peeve about this book. It happens "off-screen" and comes completely out of left field. There was a brief paragraph about what happened to this character, and then they are pretty much forgotten for the rest of the book. Considering this person was a main character, it really pissed me off that the death was brushed aside so easily by both the author, and the remaining characters.

I do like the fact that (as of now) this book is a standalone. And the story did feel completed, without any lingering lose ends. But, this book was much more entertaining when it was strictly a survivalist story and didn't focus so much on the romance (and this is coming from someone who loves romance novels).
Considering I wasn't a big fan of McGuire's Beautiful Disaster, I was overall impressed by the writing in this book, and by the fact that she definitely went outside the box here.
**Note: This review is based on an Advanced Readers Copy.**
Book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shannon.
2,402 reviews177 followers
August 21, 2019
The author is despicable and I'm ashamed I've ever read anything by her.
Profile Image for Ignacio Senao f.
983 reviews44 followers
June 6, 2021
Este libro me ha ofrecido mucho más de lo que esperaba. En mi pensamiento había una trama romántica con los zombis metido con calzador. La realidad ha sido una novela coral bastante entretenido.
Profile Image for Isalys.
187 reviews105 followers
October 27, 2013

What happens when a virus spanning the globe reaches your home and turns ordinary people into mindless man-eating monsters? Through the eyes of three very different characters, Red Hill explores the human condition when faced with unexpected and untold horrors.

The lives of three different people become intertwined when their world is ravaged by a virus that turns people into zombies! Scarlet, a hardworking divorcee searching for her two daughters, Nathan, a young father trying to protect his only child, and Miranda, a college student trying to find refuge at her father's ranch along with her sister and their boyfriends are all pushed to their limits.

This was my first Jamie McGuire book and as a fan of The Walking Dead, I was really intrigued by the premise of this novel. I can't help but compare the two storylines because they have several parallels. However, what I did appreciate about Red Hill (and sadly, not something TWD offered) was the onset of the chaos. We are introduced to Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda prior to the zombie attacks so it allows the reader to witness their initial reactions to these events.

Jamie tells their story from all three points of view. While typically this can be confusing or overwhelming, she was able to deftly examine the situation from all three perspectives all the while creating an exciting concurrent stream of action. The story was not only well written, but the pacing keeps the reader engrossed as we try to figure out "what or who is next?"

The first half of the book is spent getting to know Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda as their try to determine each their next move. By the second half of the book, they all congregate and take refuge at Red Hill Ranch which is located outside the city. This is where the story takes a different turn as three people with different priorities have to get to know each other, learn to trust each other, and work together for the safety of those left.

The thing I love about books like this (and shows like The Walking Dead) is that they make you question everything! We all knows that zombies are make-believe, but WHAT IF. What if we, as ordinary people, had to defend ourselves from something stronger than ourselves? As individuals, we can say that we're all rational and logical. As a group, we're more likely to be panicky and stupid. Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda don't have just zombies to fear. How do you tell apart the good from the bad? How do find the strength in yourself to do the things you know you need to do in order to protect yourself and those you love, even if it means doing things that are distasteful? Our characters are forced to dig deep within themselves to face these realities.

While there is some romance, it's actually LOVE and it's many forms that takes center stage. Love of a parent for their child/children, love for your partner, love for your sibling, love for humanity. When the loss of life and family become commonplace, our characters begin to explore new relationships with one another proving once again that even when at odds, people need people!

While you expect there to be death, I found myself getting attached to these characters and emotionally reeling from certain losses. *shakes fist at Jamie McGuire* The ending, while hardly a happily-ever-after was realistic and fit in perfectly with the story. There is so much more to Red Hill than I can possibly fit into a review. It is not an easy read, but it was certainly worth it. It is a captivating tale about people's capacity for courage, strength, perseverance, and love. I'd recommend it to fans of contemporary, post-apocalyptic horror, and zombies.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews378 followers
September 30, 2013
It is no secret that I adore McGuire's work but even though I love her work, it still sometimes makes me nervous when a beloved author goes to a totally different genre. Not only a different genre but also a subject matter that I don't always adore but am inexplicably drawn to, zombies.

And while I had the utmost faith that she could pull it off and make me fall in love with her work all over again and not only her work but zombies, I was still slightly apprehensive going into this. But I knew that if anyone could do it, it would be her.

This novel is actually told from three main point of views, something I wasn't expecting. Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda. Out of the three, I think I like Scarlet most. As a mother I connected more with her and she searched for her children. I could feel her frustration, her loss, her despair, and her willingness to move on and do what needed to be done. She was a pretty strong protagonist.

Miranda had a slightly different voice, being younger and under different circumstances as the others, she didn't have the same feel but you could feel her fear and desperation just as much as the others. I didn't warm up to her at first but after awhile I really started liking her voice as well and her perspective of what was going on.

Nathan too was a father, in a different situation than Scarlet, he had his daughter with him but it was no less terrifying for him and he tried to protect her and keep her safe from the walking dead around them.

And can we talk about the “shufflers” (or if you prefer, the dead ones, teds, biters, infected) for a minute? The whole concept behind how the virus began and was spread was completely terrifying. Terrifying in the simple fact that I could see it happening. Could picture it, could imagine it.

The way all their lives intertwined was cleverly done and added an extra depth to the storyline that I really think separates it from every other book in the same genre.

Cooper, Ashley, Bryce, Skeeter, Miranda, Nathan, Zoe, Joey, Scarlet, Joy, Walter, and Elleny were all fabulous characters, in fact I couldn't of asked for better ones.

Even though the ending felt a little rushed and almost wrapped up too easily, I really enjoyed the story.

This isn't a happy go lucky read. It is dark, frightening, gruesome and at times sad. But it is also filled with hope.

I can say with confidence that McGuire pulled it off. The switching of genres, the storyline, the characters, the realness, all of it.

Profile Image for Fran.
766 reviews85 followers
July 20, 2023
It was no World War Z or a Stephen King novel, but it was still a great read about the zombie apocalypse. Obviously, Jamie McGuire is a romance writer, so Red Hill didn't have the kind of detailed storytelling that most thriller books have. I'm not going to nitpick, but it's just that I'm used to reading lengthy and very descriptive horror/thriller/sci-fi books. Having said that, I very much loved the plot and how everything seemed to be connected. Very entertaining! :)
Profile Image for Kelli Spear.
520 reviews63 followers
October 2, 2013
Even though Jamie is my favorite author, I fully admit to being nervous and hesitant about this book. I haven't been into paranormal for quite awhile and all of the zombie books I've come across lately did nothing for me. The thought of romance and zombies in the same book made me cringe - the last one with those elements made me laugh. But not in the good or appropriate way. I trusted Jamie to write a good book, I just wasn't sure that I would love it.

Yes, Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster are my favorite books. EVER. Did I think she could compete with that story? Of course not. She also didn't try to. This is a totally different kind of story, but it's still beautiful. You think this is a zombie story? Well, it's not. It's a HUMAN story.

Red Hill features three viewpoints/narrators. Scarlet - a woman who is alone and searching for her daughters. We get to know her the best, as we are with her as the infection hits and spreads. Nathan - a man who just wants to make sure he keeps his daughter safe. Out of the three main characters, I liked his voice the best. Miranda - a teenage girl trying to get to her father's ranch with her boyfriend, sister, and her sister's boyfriend. At times I really liked her. Many times, I despised her. It was interesting to see the decisions each person made in order to protect themselves and attempt to stay alive. As each tries to find a safe haven you realize at many times they nearly intersect. It's only a matter of time before they end up in the exact same place at the exact same time. You're just waiting for it to happen.

People need to go into this with an open mind. I wasn't sure what to expect out of a book that claims to be a romance book during the zombie apocalypse. I also don't think that's a very accurate description. There is SOME romance involved, but I think it's more a survival story with elements of love and family mixed in. When I started reading I didn't think I'd connect with any of the characters. I wanted to see where the story would go. I wanted the macabre. At first I didn't feel like I cared about any of them. I wanted to stay detached and focused on the event itself. This soon proved impossible. Not only did I care about all of them, but it also felt as though I had stepped into the pages and was there, trying to survive.

I genuinely liked each main character. Heck, I even loved one of the supporting guys even more (Cooper, btw)! Their voices and personalities are all so different, but when they come together they are a strong and determined unit. One of my favorite aspects of the story was when they all realized they had crossed paths earlier in the story. If you're paying attention you'll know right away.

The scariest part of a potential apocalyptic event IMO is the ensuing panic. People's fears are one of the worst enemies - possibly worse than the illness/zombies. And once you factor in the government vs. civilian factors, all hell will break loose. Jamie does a good job of showing this. It's no longer just humans vs. zombies. It becomes a larger scale battle with several groups. And THAT is maybe scarier than panic. Because if you can't rely on the powers that be for help, where do you turn?

Things Red Hill is NOT:
A horror story. Yes, there are zombies, but it's not necessarily gruesome or even scary. Some scenes made my heart race or had me shaking my head in earnest, knowing the people were making poor decisions.

A romance novel. Yeah, there's familial love but it's not until the last half to three quarters that I'd say it was romantic. Red Hill is about connecting and coming together. The goal is to survive and when the world ends you can't do it on your own.

What Red Hill IS:
A human survival story. I know I've said it above, but that is the overall theme. Regardless of your background, past, race, or social status, when the world ends you will need to band together.

Intense. The writing makes you feel as if you're in the apocalypse. There is definitely a creepy element involved and during the "quiet" moments of the book, your heart will pound.

I'm no longer into paranormal books and my experience with zombie stories is limited. Having said that, I really enjoyed Red Hill. The ending --- *sigh*. I can't lie. Some stuff that took place bummed me out and almost made me tear up. Understandably not everyone can or will survive, but it's hard to accept when you've come to care about these characters. However, it's more realistic this way and I can appreciate that element. Oh, I know what some people are thinking. "It's a zombie book and zombies aren't real. How can it be realistic?" Or maybe even complaining that parts of the ending are unrealistic. Well, if we're going to read fiction we have to take liberties, right? So if you can believe in the zombie factor, why should the certain human actions be unreasonable?

This book is filled with superb writing and smart characters. I am glad I went with my gut and read it. It's definitely different than the books I've been reading lately but that is a good thing. Once again, Jamie didn't disappoint. After the abundance and outbreak of fighter books after Beautiful Disaster blew up, I can only wonder how many zombie books will be launched after Red Hill succeeds. ;)

Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,920 followers
December 5, 2013
I was very pleased to see that Red Hill placed 3rd in the GoodReads Choice Awards for Horror, with over 10 000 well-deserved votes, losing only to Stephen King and Joe Hill. While I myself voted for Parasite by Mira Grant, I considered Red Hill to be a close second and it thrilled me to see its quality recognized.

There are so few old school zombie books these days, pure end-of-the-world survival stories. Red Hill reminded me of movies like Dawn of the Dead, with its overall story, individual characters’ stories and the day-to-day struggle to survive. I could easily imagine this turned into a movie and even the smallest details came alive in my head beautifully.

Red Hill is told from three perspectives: Scarlett, a divorced nurse and mother of two pre-teen daughters, separated from them and desperate to find them; Nathan, a single father of one small daughter with special needs; and Miranda, a college student intent on taking her group of friends to her father’s Red Hill ranch where they have the best chance of surviving the apocalypse.

All three voices were done exceptionally well. I found myself enjoying all three perspectives equally. As a mother, I understood Scarlett’s desperate need to find her daughter and admired Nathan for his determination to keep his little girl safe, but Miranda was the one closest to me as a person. I found so much of myself in her that it was easy to understand her choices at all times, even when someone else might have struggled with them.

While characters are very much the heart of this story, there is plenty of blood and gore around them. Zombies are everywhere, fresh and hungry. McGuire never shied away from horrible, painful things. No character was ever safe. I expected a lot of things from Red Hill, but the emotional impact took me completely by surprise.

Emma Galvin, January LaVoy and Zachary Webber narrated this story. Emma Galvin is the only one I’ve had the pleasure of listening to before (Divergent, Allegiant, Forever) but the other two were just as good. They each added something to their POV character and turned this story into a spectacular listening experience.

If you enjoy old-school zombie books, Red Hill is a must read. I strongly recommend it to fans of Rihannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy and to all other zombie fans. I doubt there’s room for a sequel here, but Jamie McGuire is a versatile writer and I’m sure she’ll give us so many other books to look forward to in the future.

Profile Image for Hazal "Elenda".
75 reviews35 followers
April 1, 2015
Bu kitabı tam da "zombi" dönemimdeyken okumaya başladım. Böyle ilginç dönemlerim var. Bir şeye takıldığımda her şey onunla ilgili olabiliyor. Kısaca bunu açıklayıp kitaba döneceğim. Örneğin Kızıl Tepe'yi okurken, aynı gün Deniz'in önerisi sayesinde erkek arkadaşımla Left 4 Dead 2 multi oynayıp, bir de tamamen rastlantı sonucu yeni başlayan iZombie adlı diziye başlayınca o gün her şey zombiden ibaret oldu :) Şimdiye kadar fantastik/polisiye dizilerde hiç iyi adam zombi ile karşılaşmadıysanız izlemenizi öneririm. Azıcık komikli...

Neyse böyle bir günde başlayıp geçen "tüm ülkedeki elektrik kesintisi günü"nde okumayı tamamladım. Kitap o korkunç sessizlikte ve tabii ki bu durumun etkisiyle inanılmaz heyecanlı bir hale geldi.

Kitap zombi salgınında kendini kurtarmaya çalışan bir grup insanı konu alıyor. Onların Kızıl Tepe'ye düşen yollarını, yaşadıkları maceraları, duygusal durumlarını okurken bir yandan da her an ölümle karşılaşacakları anları heyecanla bekliyorsunuz. Sağ olsun yazar karakterleri öldürme konusunda George R.R. Martin ile yarışır vaziyette olunca kitaptan daha büyük keyif aldım. Böyle kitaplara bol ölüm yakışıyor :D
1 puanı kırma sebebim ise 3 kişinin gözünden okuduğumuz kitabın bir gözünü hiç sevmemem :D Tamamen o karakter yüzünden ve kitabın son sayfalarının oldu bittiye gelmesinden dolayı 1 puanı kırdım.

(SPOILER: Resmen kadının yanına kim geldiyse harcandı be arkadaş! Daha ilk sayfadan son sayfaya kadar yanında kimse kalmadı... Asıl o bomba radyasyonlu olaydı nasıl gülerdim of ahahha)
Profile Image for Nika  ♥Marie♥.
182 reviews38 followers
April 7, 2014
I read this book from beginning to end and I probably should have quit when I reached page 100 and it wasn't doing anything for me but I kept pushing through. There was absolutely nothing I liked about this book. It seemed like it was a romance with the occasional zombie appearances. It took too long for the book to make progress and by the time I got to the end I was so disappointed that I really wanted to give it half a star. I couldn't connect with any of the characters because they were just flat and there really wasn't a plot that I could see. With the constant POV shift I think it made it hard to feel anything for anyone.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,045 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.