Review - Until the End

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Title: Until the End (#1)
Author: Tracey Ward

"An outbreak of what is immediately dubbed The Fever has taken hold of Portland, Oregon, bringing the population to its knees. The Fever spreads and kills quickly, but the dead aren't staying dead.

When her college classmate Jordan saves her from one of the infected, Alissa joins him in his plan to escape the city, the disease and the threat of a quarantine that will lock the living in with the undead.

What she doesn't tell him is that she has an illness of her own, one that plays tricks with her mind and makes her a dangerous companion. But Jordan has a secret as well, one that compels him to keep Alissa, a veritable stranger, safe at all costs.

As they fight for their lives and race for their freedom, they'll discover that what they truly need in order to survive is to stay together until the end."
*Won a copy of this book through goodreads first reads.*

I have this love hate relationship with zombie books. (And dystpoians, faeries, and ghosts stories, but that's besides the point and for whole other reasons.) Too often they are like reading the same book over and over again. Or watching the same movie or playing the video game. It's all about the running and screaming and flesh-feasting gore. But the thing I love about this book is also the reason I love The Walking Dead. The characters and their interactions drive the story more than the undead.

Sure the world's gone to hell and it's a fight for their lives. But the zombies are only a part of that. There is more to these characters than simply banding together to get picked up for our twisted amusement. You get a sense of who the heroine is before the disease happens and as our heroes travel together you learn more about them. And not just them, but the other humans too. Sure the zombies are dangerous, but they are constant. You know what they want and that they will pretty much be everywhere. It's the other living that become the unknown factor. The author does a nice job portraying various aspects of the system breaking down and our selfish instincts kicking in.

Another thing I really liked about this book is the humor. It's not simply an end-of-the-world-everyone-is-dying-and-coming-back-as-zombies book. There is an undercurrent of humor that keeps the book fun and fresh.

The characters, including the minor ones, are all pretty fleshed out and real. I get Alissa. She was an interesting character and fascinating narrator. I wasn't sure about Jordan at first. But I liked getting to know him as she did. I think he is kind of good at worming his way in there and getting you to like him because by the end I did.

Overall, the book was a well written, fun, and quick read. It's listed as a book 1 of a series, so I am curious as to where the author is going to take this series.

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