Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Survivor Song” as Want to Read:
Survivor Song
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Survivor Song

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  13,387 ratings  ·  1,785 reviews
A riveting novel of suspense and terror from the Bram Stoker award-winning author of The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by William Morrow
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Survivor Song, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jeffrey Powanda Cabin at the End of the World punted on the ending. Survivor Song doesn't.

It's a very straightforward, timely book about a fast-acting, rabies-like v…more
Cabin at the End of the World punted on the ending. Survivor Song doesn't.

It's a very straightforward, timely book about a fast-acting, rabies-like virus outbreak. It features two main characters (both female, one pregnant and infected, the other a young doctor). It also has present tense narration, an odd choice. It's got a race-against-time plot (will the pregnant woman buy the farm?) that occurs mostly in real-time. The book feels a bit thin (like a padded novella), but there are plenty of tense horror scenes to please the fans. I read it in one day. It's like 28 Days Later meets Thelma and Louise. B-movie quality, but still a lot of fun.(less)
Jeffrey Powanda There are 80 instances of "f*ck" and 24 instances of "sh*t" over 320 pages. It's an intense book, so the profanity didn't seem gratuitous or excessive…moreThere are 80 instances of "f*ck" and 24 instances of "sh*t" over 320 pages. It's an intense book, so the profanity didn't seem gratuitous or excessive.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,387 ratings  ·  1,785 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Survivor Song


months later, i am still in quarantine, wondering if all of this has been an extremely ballsy publicity stunt by paul tremblay to promote this book. WELL PLAYED, TREMBLAY!


when is a zombie novel not a zombie novel? when paul tremblay’s writing it!

I was kind of joking when I said zombies, but not joking at the same time. They’re sick people and they turn delusional and violent and they bite, but i
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
**4.5-stars rounded up**

There will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER be a better time to read Survivor Song than 2020.

After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is hit by a highly-contagious strain of a rabies-like virus, spread through saliva, the entire state goes into lockdown.

As a result of the emergency, hospitals are overrun, public resources drained and the citizens ordered into quarantine.

Dr. Ramola 'Rams' Sherman receives a frantic plea from her best friend, Natalie, who is currently 8-months pregnant w
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-won
Things I have learned while reading this book (in no particular order):

1. Never leave you door open while bringing in the groceries
2. People who force their way into your home are dangerous
3. Rabies sucks
4. Paul Tremblay has done it again

Massachusetts has been overrun by a rabies like virus that affecting both animals and humans alike. Its incubation period is short. Symptoms will come on fast. If bitten you must get help faster than the virus can go through your system. Plus, hospitals are inun
Chelsea Humphrey
I'm not sure if I fall under the "glutton for punishment" umbrella or if I just really enjoy apocalyptic horror, but I have been reading all of the horror books that should make me uncomfortable during a worldwide pandemic. If you are the type who won't be able to sleep after reading a book about people getting sick and dying in a widespread manner right now, that's completely understandable, but my hope is that things will be settling into our new normal by July when this book is set to be publ ...more
David Putnam
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book it kept me turning the pages by continually ramping up the tension. There are two strong female characters that are easy to cheer for. The story is an odyssey where the two women have to get from point A to point B during a viral pandemic. Because what’s happening out in the world I was hesitant to read this one. It’s not a true zombie movie it’s a mutated rabies virus that makes people crazy and highly contagious. I hesitate to say more without spoiling the plot. This is a s ...more
Will Byrnes
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the coming days, conditions will continue to deteriorate. Emergency services and other public safety nets will be stretched to their breaking points, exacerbated by the wily antagonists of fear, panic, misinformation, a myopic, sluggish federal bureaucracy further hamstrung by a president unwilling and woefully unequipped to make the rational, science-based decisions necessary; and exacerbated, of course, by plain old individual everyday evil.
There is something very eerie at work in Paul
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars!

SURVIVOR SONG consists of the fastest 320 pages I've ever read!

Nats, (Natalie), is waiting at home for her husband to return from the store. This is no ordinary trip, however. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is a virus loose...a fast acting rabies virus that turns its victims, (animal and human alike) into rabid, (see what I did there?), strong, uber-violent attackers. Those infected will attack cars, humans, pretty much anything at all, and Natalie's husband is late. Wi
Aug 09, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 50%
Not rating this book and there's nothing wrong with it to not make it enjoyable for others.
I personally just have very limited time to read and I don't feel invested in it enough to continue.
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Massachusetts under the attack of pandemic virus: mutated rabies pandemic ,spreading by saliva! The zombies who are fed by fresh human flesh are out there to attack you. Oh no, somebody is already knocking on your door. Paul please, lock the door, you gotta think your pregnant wife! Hey, who am I talking,too! Okay another Paul bites the dust in the beginning of the book as I start screaming, biting my nails.

WTH, a high tension, heart throbbing, body hair epilator, jaw dropping, teeth rotting sto
Sadie Hartmann
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Original review posted at Cemetery Dance July 10th, 2020
Beware! Paul Tremblay is not interested in writing stories readers can walk away from unscathed. Survivor Song will leave emotional trenches in your heart long after you’ve finished trying to ugly-cry and read at the same time.

Massachusetts becomes ground zero in a rabies-like outbreak. Readers follow a pregnant woman named Natalie as her life is upended by the quickly spreading disease. In a panic to
This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I feel so disappointed. I feel like this is one of those times where I went into a book with way too high of expectations and I feel like this book had soooo much potential that was kind of wasted..? The premise for this book is freaking incredible and so cool and it had me so hyped. A rabies-like virus that has an hour incubation period taking over Boston... it sounded so epic! And it started off soooo good too, that opening scene had my ...more
Aug 14, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-winner
I have zero good things to say about this novel, so I'm simply not saying anything at all. I am officially done with Paul Tremblay.
**Read this shit show at your own risk.**
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.0 Stars
Spoiler Free Video Review:

This book holds all the trademarks of a classic Paul Tremblay horror novel and fans of his work will not be disappointed. Compared to his other horror books, this one most closely follows the narrative structure of Cabin at the End of the World with a similar level of action and suspense. Once again Tremblay provides his own literary spin on a classic subgenre of horror. In this one, he takes on the apocalyptic horror, but chooses t
DNF - No rating. Will not be included in my 2020 reading challenge.

I never in my life thought I would ever say this but I'm setting a Paul Tremblay book aside. Gah. That hurts so much to say because I've enjoyed all of his books until this one.

I only made it to 25%. I'm bored to tears. I don't like Natalie or Ramola - Nats and Rams - as they are referred to constantly. *Grinds teeth* The dialogue is irksome and cheesy. Just nothing about this is working for me.

If you are looking to read a boo
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to HarperAudio for the free audiobook in exchange for an honest review

This book left a deep impression on me. I picked it up cause I saw apocalypse, zombies, and rush to save people which I knew meant a great book but it went so much better than that.

So, what's this book about?
In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Survivor Song” was disturbing to me in this age of COVID. Author Paul Tremblay writes a cautionary tale of a virus gone amuck, in this case, a vigorous form of the rabies virus. This form is aggressive and almost immediately affects the victim, allowing no time to get vaccinated to stop the virus.

Tremblay also correctly imagined how the government would enforce quarantines. In addition, he included those “it’s all a hoax” groups and the anti-vaccine groups. The fear factor leads to violence. Th
Brian Keene
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
Quite simply, this is Tremblay's best novel yet. It's mean and fast, and utterly bleak, and full of equal amounts of heart and heartbreak. I loved it. ...more
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one has bite........

Crank this up inside your mind.

Your husband calls to say he's only minutes from home with the groceries. He pulls into the driveway and you sidestep against your very pregnant belly as he balances heavy bags in his hands. From out of nowhere comes a beast of a man with all the tell-tale signs of that horrendous rabies being inflicted upon the Boston area. Said man has forced his way into your kitchen and is viciously attacking your husband.

But this is a lightning bolt of
Dannii Elle
A viral outbreak is spreading as much political discord as it is fatalities. Healthcare workers are overworked and lacking both the proper protection and necessary remedies with which to treat the infected. The government is slow in spreading news but quick to enforce a curfew and lockdown to slow the spread of this so far incurable virus. Sound familiar? No this isn't an assessment of the current global pandemic I read this book in, it is the starting point for Tremblay's new novel.

Wow, what an
Frank Phillips
3.5 Stars, rounded down. I was really, REALLY looking forward to this one, and it couldn't have been published at a more appropriate time, with what's been happening in the world the last three months or so. I appreciated how developed and intimate the two main protagonists were, and you could feel the sense of urgency in Ram as she tried to help get Natalie to the hospital, but still felt a little disappointed overall by this one. I can't exactly put my finger on what it was, but I expected som ...more
A timely & terrifying read

A viral strain of rabies is spreading across Massachusetts. It moves quickly among animals and people, with those being bitten rapidly (think hours) losing their minds and then biting others to spread the disease. Hospitals are overwhelmed. People are under quarantine, with packets of vaccine being dropped from the sky to try to control the animal population. Chaos reigns. Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman is a pediatrician, about to be called in to help at an overflowing hospi
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“This is not a fairy tale. It is a song.”

The man comes with the sounds of barks and unintelligible sentences crashing through the doorway into the space of Natalie and Paul's home. They will fight him to protect one another and their unborn child, but because of the man's size and manic determination, he will win. Bite and bite and bite. It will become the beginning of an unwanted journey for Natalie, and a race against time. One that is forever without Paul, but necessary to save their chil
Cody | CodysBookshelf
I’m a Paul Tremblay fan. Disappearance at Devil’s Rock is an all-time favorite, and Cabin at the End of the World scared me senseless. I say that to say this: this review is written from a place of love, and respect.

Survivor Song let me down. Big time.

To get this out of the way: because this is a Tremblay novel, it is competently written. Meaning there are no glaring errors or lapses in verb tenses, and the author seems to have a firm grasp on his characters. The basics are handled well, becau
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dennis by: Chelsea Humphrey
Paul Tremblay's back with his darkest book yet!

Survivor Song takes place in the not-so-distant future, where ironically, there's a strain of rabies contaminating creating a country-wide pandemic in the United States. Natalie and her husband Paul are expecting a baby and have to navigate through this unconventional time with Natalie's best friend and doctor, Ramola. With this strain of rabies being so contagious and fast-acting, the country is in quarantine. When an affected person breaks int
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
4 rabies stars

I read this one in one day! It seems WAY too timely since we are currently battling COVID-19. In the book, a rabies virus has taken over pets and wild animals and they have then infected people as well. There doesn’t seem to be much that the authorities can do – people should stay inside, keep their pets inside, etc. There’s a short incubation period and no vaccine.

This one starts with a chilling scene when an infected man breaks into Paul and Natalie’s house. The man attacks them
3.5 Stars.

October 21 ~ ~ What a Day ~ ~ from hell!

Warning: There's a new virus, a deadly, aggressive rabies-type virus on the streets of Massachusetts that travels from animals to humans causing fever, confusion and hallucinations quickly progressing to extreme aggression. Panic, riots and shootings have broken out as food rationing becomes imperative. Government mandates advise to stay home and quarantine in darkness. Bright lights may attract the infected.

An intruder gets SURVIVOR SONG off

Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
This ended on a high note for me 👏👏👏 4.5 surviving stars!

Survivor Song follows very much as the blurb on the book states, but it is the eerie experience a reader is placed in with the setting and circumstance that is happening with the rabies pandemic that makes this novel a dish for the senses.

Natalie is 8 months pregnant. Her husband comes home with groceries and somehow, a zombie like and rabies-infected person gains access into their house at the same time and attacks them both. As her husb
Pantelis Andreou
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'This is not a fairy-tale. This is a song'

Paul Tremblay did it again. My second book by him and i absolutely loved it. it's a very small and contained post-apocalyptic book and it's really fast read (like the way the virus spreads here).

There is nothing extravagant here. No big action sequences that will leave your blood pumping. Even though i found some moments pretty intense in their own sort of way. The real deal is with the 2 survivors that embark on this obligatory journey.

I feel this woul
Dec 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I almost always love a book that takes place in Massachusetts...I'm sort of bound to that, right? The problem is that no one does this sort of book better than Stephen King and I had that thought rolling around in my head the entire time I was listening to this. This one may have been a better choice in print, too. The narrator was quite good, but the "Rams" and "Nats" (nicknames) began to wear on me after a while. Overall, the tension was there but this was a 3 star read for me. ...more
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-wins
So, I have to wonder about all these authors that have come out with novels about pandemics right in the middle of a pandemic...I’m not a conspiracy theorist or anything but I am wondering if there’s a conspiracy at work here...DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! Any-who...

What makes Paul Tremblay’s books so freakin horror-licious and freaky-tastic is how realistic they are! I mean A Head Full of Ghosts is one of my all time favs and I still half wonder if that was a true story (when I’m not wondering if her he
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The City of Light (Whiteout Book 4)
  • The Numbing (Whiteout Book 3)
  • The Dark Winter
  • The Snow
  • Intercepts
  • Night of the Mannequins
  • Sour Candy
  • Replay
  • Into the Darkest Corner
  • The Zombie Room
  • Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death, #1)
  • The Chestnut Man
  • Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow
  • Redneck, Vol. 2: The Eyes Upon You
  • Redneck, Vol. 3: Longhorns
  • Undertones
  • Audience of One: Television, Donald Trump, and the Fracturing of America
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Paul Tremblay has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and is the author of Survivor Song, Growing Things, The Cabin at the End of the World, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, A Head Full of Ghosts, and the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly ...more

Articles featuring this book

"Oh, we are living a dystopian reality!" You've heard it, you may have even said it. But despite what's happening in the world—or maybe because...
109 likes · 26 comments
“the final tally of what will be considered the end of the epidemic [but not, to be clear, the end of the virus; it will burrow, digging in like a nasty tick; it will migrate; and it will return all but encouraged and welcomed in a country where science and forethought are allowed to be dirty words, where humanity’s greatest invention—the vaccine—is smeared and vilified by narcissistic, purposeful fools [the most dangerous kind, where fear is harvested for fame, profit, and self-esteem], almost ten thousand people will have died. *” 4 likes
“a myopic, sluggish federal bureaucracy further hamstrung by a president unwilling and woefully unequipped to make the rational, science-based decisions necessary; and exacerbated, of course, by plain old individual everyday evil.” 3 likes
More quotes…