Publisher: Writers Coffee Shop
Pages/File Size: 775 KB
Formats Available: Kindle
BLURB from Goodreads
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.
She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.
Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.
But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.
I downloaded this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I was then contacted by The Writers Coffee shop to ask if I would be interested in being part of the blog tour, which is why I also have an Interview with the Author, Lissa Bryan. This book has also become part of my Reading Challenges for 2013, it's No 1 in the Dystopia Challenge hosted by Blog of Erised and also it's No 2 in the First in a Series Challenge hosted by Darlene's Book Nook.
The cover in my opinion is to represent both going through a tunnel and also the journey from the world with electricity, and running water to the new world of survival, no running water and no electricity, no stores etc. I would say the two figures in the tunnel are Carly and Justin.
So the basic story line is that a virus has run through the world and killed many people. The world as we know it has completely changed. There is no police force, the hospitals can't cope, the food stores are being looted and it is basically a "survival of the fittest" environment.
Carly has nursed both her parents during their fight with the virus. Carly has had to make some very stark and difficult choices during this time. Both her parents have died so she has moved back to her own apartment within the same block, and is more "existing" tan living. She has befriended a little puppy, whom she is now taking care of. the puppy is something to take Carly's mind off the terrible and worsening situation she is in all alone. She appears to be the only survivor around and then she notices a man literally camped out in front of her apartment block.
The male Carly see's is in fact an ex-soldier from her fathers old regimental unit. A special ops unit. The guy is called Justin and is very practical, he seems to be surviving quite well using his army training.
Justin eventually but not very easily manages to gain Carly's trust little by little he learns her father was once one of his instructors. In fact it is Justin's old regimental tattoo that finally gives Carly the extra push of courage to trust him. Justin reasons, argues and pleads with Carly to go with him. His plan is to head South to warmer climates with farming land that they can plant an grow food in.
They eventually set off after many minor and some quite major arguments. Carly's pet puppy turns out to be a wolf pup that she insists on bringing along on the journey, or she refuses to leave.
On their travels they do meet other survivors, some good and some really bad individuals. Hard and some times heart breaking decisions have to be made. The two traveller's endure many hardships but still find themselves becoming closer and more attached to each other in time. Even tough Justin tries his best to distance himself from any sort of romantic involvement with with Carly. The inevitable happens and things move along for some time. Justin and Carly are adapting well and all seems to be falling into place, they may even reach their original destination of getting near to Florida if luck stays on their side, and they can keep up the pace they are travelling at. Then after an accident which costs them precious time they have to decide to "hole up" for winter. They search for a house to call their "home" and finally find one suitable. Then fate intervenes and one thing leads to another and they find out Carly is pregnant. Though both are extremely worried, thy are also secretly happy in their own ways too. A baby gives hope of a future. Though there are so very many things that could go wrong. There's no medical check ups, scans, midwife care let alone a hospital to go give birth in. And that's all I am going to say about the story. I will tell you that so much more happens too. There are sad, sometimes heartbreaking events that occur, but there is also humor and lighter moments within the book. The relationship that develops between Justin and Carly is beautifully written and is subtly brought into the plot. We gradually learn more about Justin and why he is the person he is, as well as learning more about Carly and her family life too.
The scenery, landscapes, and living conditions are well described and so detailed you can visualize them. You can imagine and almost feel Carly's discomfort at not being able to shower or use a flushing toilet anymore. You seriously empathize with the fact Carly feels itchy and unclean, and you feel her joy and her elation at finding a cold creek to bathe in, or a house with running water to shower in even if it is icy cold water. The differences between the characters are shown well within the book, the way Carly is to begin with really emotional and wants to help every person and creature she comes across, whereas Justin is more practical and uses any spare supplies they have to trade for other items they need. Justin is more adaptable to the harsh conditions they have to survive in. Carly ends up having to toughen up somewhat, but I feel even in the subsequent books in this series (which I can hardly wait to read) Carly will always be the softer, more emotional and sentimental character of the two.
So did I enjoy the book? Oh wow YES I l.o.v.e.d, loved it! I mean look at the length of my review of the book, I could really go on and on about this book forever. Would I recommend this book? YES! to all those readers that love dystopian/post apocalyptic genre books. I have to add I highly recommend this book. Would I read a BK#2? Oh yes I would read it now if I could get my hands on it! I'd love to read it now to see what else the world has in store for Justin and Carly. Would I read more by Lissa Bryan? Yes I would certainly try other books by Lissa Bryan as I really enjoyed her style of writing and how everything flowed so easily.