Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Goodreads Summary:

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?
Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

As far as zombie novels, I’ve read a few clunkers lately and I was glad Red Hill didn’t fall into that category. There were some very creepy scenes and I loved that the author chose to focus on the human element and the changes in people, both good and bad, when faced with the end of the world.

Red Hill had a weaker beginning and end with a super strong middle. The zombie outbreak happened way too fast for believability and wasn’t fully fleshed out. I also would’ve liked more characterization with Scarlet. Since the driving force behind her storyline is finding her daughters, I would’ve preferred to see more of their relationship to fully invest in her quest.

Once the main characters headed towards Red Hill, the story really took off. It was told in three POVS (more than two I normally find unnecessary) but it worked for this book, especially when the lives of the characters intersected. There were a few scenes where I almost wanted to put the book down because the tension was almost too much to take. I became invested in the characters fully and my heart broke when some of them lost their lives. The author’s descriptive writing was able to draw me into the story and I squirmed as I read the portions about the zombie attacks.

The ending wasn’t my favorite and I actually started to dislike many of the characters once the storylines merged. Between a love triangle and a case of insta-love, I was a little put off. I wished the epilogue were cut out altogether.  Without posting spoilers, I just felt like it was too far-fetched and cheesy. I’m actually wondering if I’m beginning to dislike epilogues altogether since I felt the same way at the end of Walking Disaster.

Despite a few issues with the storyline, I still enjoyed the book. It was the perfect Halloween read and it was cool to see the author try her hand at a completely new genre.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm... I didn't really feel the insta-love. :( Goes to show how two people can read the same book and see completely different things. I agree with you about the storyline not focusing on the zombies so much. I kinda liked that about it, too. I wrote an epilogue for I, Zombie, but I may end up cutting it or just pulling it into the story somehow. I'm not sure the book needs it; but I know it needs the information I held until the end. :) This is a wonderful review, Heather. Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!