Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Format: Uncorrected arc
Reviewed by: Onnica
Genre: Fantasy YA
Wow – zombies are huge right now – so when I was asked whether I’d like to review this book I couldn’t resist. As afraid of a zombie apocalypse as I am, add in some romance and high drama and I’m there!
Plot: It’s been three years since the first outbreak of contagion changed Colorado and the US forever. Laney Landry has been on the run, fighting ‘Deads’ with her brother and childhood friends for all of that time. Never staying in one place too long, they live in forests, fight zombies and rely on each other. Their aim is to get to a colony big enough to be able to help Laney. She’s pretty special – she’s somehow survived two zombie encounters and has the scars to prove it. Convinced that she somehow holds the key to a possible cure, her brother and the troop of friends are committed to getting her to safety at any cost. Part of that group contains Derek Mitchell, old-time friend and general pain in Laney’s neck. He’s sarcastic, annoying and generally too sure of himself. He also may or may not be interested in Laney for more than her healing abilities.
There’s also colony leader Sean Daniels – blunt and wary of the troop’s credentials he’s not in the least bit welcoming when Laney and friends reach the colony. He makes it clear that the sooner they all move on the better. Despite his hostility, unexpected events force him to change his mind when he learns exactly what Laney could mean to their future survival…
Review: First let me say that I was gripped by this story. I don’t normally make a habit of reading zombie-related stories as the ending is usually GRIM for the survivors! This tale held my interest from the first page. Laney is a tough gal who has been through the ringer these past three years. Most of her family are gone – there’s just her brother Jerren left and her friends Mitchell and Guist. She’s lost touch with her boyfriend Adam and has no idea whether or not he survived the outbreak. At no point does she wallow in misery. Or cry incessantly. Everyone’s lost someone so best to get on with surviving.
The action is fast-paced, the dialogue between the friends feels real – you feel as though you are right there, surviving along with them. Then there’s the romance – it’s allowed to build and simmer, which is great as they are facing life and death on a daily basis, so to lead with romantic angst would have been plain weird. The potential love interests are as different as night and day. Mitchell is playful, cocky but has hidden depths, whereas Sean is older, more serious and focused (read ruthless) on his colony’s survival. To find out just who she chooses, you’ll really need to read the book – I’m not spoiling such a great story! So all in all, I’m giving this read 9/10 heart-stopping stars.
Review based on the following criteria:
Heroine: 10 Goddess of tough gals, but also a young woman wanting to find some meaning in all the madness, Laney is a great character. She’s funny, abrasive at times and unapologetic for who she is. Courageous and not arrogant at all (she could have been as she may hold the key to a cure and all).
Likeability of the hero: 8 There are two to choose from! Mitchell is highly entertaining – he’s always trying to get a rise out of Laney and make her react to him, which she does – often. He’s an interesting character who develops throughout the book. Sean is a little less well-drawn in my opinion. We find out a little about him, but it felt a little superficial – we find out about his past and his homelife, but I did find it difficult to connect with him. The dynamic between Sean and Laney didn’t always work for me.
Believability of the plot: 9 It’s a zombie apocalypse people! I have to say, that the reason I usually stay away from zombie fiction is because part of me really believes it could happen one day, (I still thinks those bath salts incidents are highly suspicious!) so I think the plot was believable considering the genre. It isn’t set too far in the future so imagining a world like this is all the more unsettling.
Author’s writing style: 10 Tera Shanley writes incredibly well. It’s well thought out and the dialogue flows naturally – there’s no cheesiness, no hokiness and it all feels real. She’s humorous and conveys emotion too. One minute you’re laughing, the next you’re having an intense moment. It was a great balance and made the story so readable.
How much I wanted to keep reading: 10 At no point did I want to put this book down – I read it in one sitting pretty much, as I just had to know what would happen next. Would she make the right choice for her? Would the colony survive?
Final score: 9/10 I may have to reconsider my self-imposed veto on zombie fiction, if they all measure up to Love in the Time of the Dead – it was hugely entertaining,
fun. I’m feeling much more positive about the end of the world…
If you’re still not convinced, here’s the trailer.
Love in the Time of the Dead is out October 22.