Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Review: Dying to Live
Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Jonah Caine, a lone survivor in a zombie-infested world, struggles to understand the apocalypse in which he lives. Unable to find a moral or sane reason for the horror that surrounds him, he is overwhelmed by violence and insignificance.
After wandering for months, Jonah's lonely existence dramatically changes when he discovers a group of survivors. Living in a museum-turned-compound, they are led jointly by Jack, an ever-practical and efficient military man, and Milton, a mysterious, quizzical prophet who holds a strange power over the dead. Both leaders share Jonah's anguish over the brutality of their world, as well as his hope for its beauty. Together with others, they build a community that reestablishes an island of order and humanity surrounded by relentless ghouls. But this newfound peace is short-lived, as Jonah and his band of refugees clash with another group of survivors who remind them that the undead are not the only - nor the most grotesque - horrors they must face. (Goodreads synopsis)
This story grabbed me from the first page, and then wouldn't let go! The action starts right away, without any explanation or prologue. Just as well, because most prologues are usually pretty useless. It was like joining a program already in progress, but the author does it in such a way that I never felt confused or lost but instead was hooked and couldn't wait to find out what happened next!
The main character is Jonah Caine, a survivor wandering the country after failing to find any sign of his family. We eventually discover that Jonah was away from home when the zombie outbreak first happened, and he left his safe haven to try to find his family. I really liked how the author didn't feel the need to over-explain or simplify anything, and seemed to assume that we were smart enough to figure certain things out on our own. Thank you! I get so tired of some authors interrupting the story to explain things as though everyone is an idiot.
Gave this one a 5/5 rating because I kept reading just-one-more-chapter until suddenly it was past midnight and I had to go to work the next day. But I finished the book, so it was worth it! Love it when a story pulls you in and you lose track of time! Is this the best written book this year? No, but it's definitely worth reading! I'm not a huge zombie fan, but am starting to warm up to them. And this book was more about the human survivors than the zombies themselves. And the real monsters in the book weren't even zombies, but fellow humans. That scared me more than the thought of being eaten alive!