Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
Atria Books | Hardcover, 368 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
On the day of the zombie apocalypse, three people will fight tooth and nail to give the people they love a chance at survival.
Scarlet will search hell and back for her two daughters who are with her ex-husband when the bedlam occurs. They will get separated; so, amidst the bloody and gory chaos of the day, she will drive, walk, and run to the end of the earth to get them back.
Miranda will drive over the walking dead just to get her sister and their boyfriends to the safety of their dad’s farm. Along the way, they will meet a soldier barely discharged from a tour in Afghanistan. This soldier will have no choice but to shoot the love of his life in the head to prevent her from reanimating.
Nathan will do whatever it takes to protect his daughter, the only person who means more to him than his own life. He will also find a note from his wife telling him that their marriage is over.
Battling the hoards of undead while trying to stay alive, this group of people will face horrors unlike anything they’ve faced before to get to Red Hill – a farm out of the way and hidden to most; a place where they could at least give themselves a chance to survive a changed world overrun by flesh-eating zombies.
Rife with action, inexorable terror and stories of humanity’s endurance, Red Hill is McGuire’s announcement to the world that she can write outside of what her followers normally like. I saw courage in her writing; she killed off major and noteworthy secondary characters without flinching. And though this zombie apocalypse novel is far from original, it had just enough addictive quality that lent for a one-sitting read.
Zombies have become mainstream in the last few years; and as such authors and film makers alike have begun recycling everything we’ve come to know about them. Much like the vampires and werewolves lore, authors will have to find ways to make their stories stand out. I think McGuire was able to accomplish that in her latest book. Even though I’ve seen glimpses of The Walking Dead (particularly, second season’s farm which incidentally, was owned by a doctor much like Red Hill was owned by one), it didn’t change the fact that I spent the entire night reading this book.
I was really curious as to how Ms. McGuire would pull off her venture to the Adult Fiction. I’ve read Beautiful Disaster years ago when it was an Indie release. Since then, I haven’t really read anything of hers. I think I gave a couple of her work a chance but didn’t really enjoy them as much. Ever since then, I’ve generally just steered clear.
Jamie McGuire’s latest endeavor was quite impressive. The plot is not fueled by romance or sex. It’s a nitty-gritty novel of survival of the smartest and those who desired the most to live. Forget the notion that this is just another book in the assembly line of zombie novels. This book just might surprise you, McGuire just might surprise you.