I was invited to participate in this tour by the author, Jill Elaine Hughes, as part of my Author Features. I am always a fan of zombie books so this one definitely piqued my interest. Included in the post below is my review of the book, a brief introduction to the author, and a few giveaways (US and INT). *Ahem* The US giveaway is for a 6″ KINDLE! How great is that?!
SO I hope you stick around and see what this one is all about.
by Jill Elaine Hughes
Published by Hackberry Books on March 25, 2013
Source: Literati Author Services
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads
**I was given a copy of this book from Literati Author Services in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Twilight. With zombies.
Eighteen-year-old Katie Allred is socially awkward and unpopular at school. The only child of parents who had her right out of high school, Katie is herself about to leave the nest, even though she hardly feels ready.
Katie’s new after-school job at the Zimble Box Corporation draws her into the complex social strata of high school cliques and backstabbing friends in ways she never imagined. Katie soon discovers there’s something very strange about the “in” crowd at school---and about her employer, too. Shortly after starting her new job, the Contagion breaks out, plunging her town and the entire nation into chaos as zombie shadow forces come out into the open, ravaging the streets. Katie goes into hiding and her parents disappear, along with almost everyone else she knows.
But Katie soon discovers she has special powers that help her survive. She’s a Beacon, someone with the innate ability to help zombies produce children. It’s a power her employer — and what little remains of the U.S. government — both want to exploit for their own ends. Not only that, it runs in her family---which has a secret past Katie never knew about until now.
Enter Agent Morehouse of the FBI Special Zombie Control Unit. A reformed zombie working undercover, he suppresses his urge to eat human flesh in order to serve and save humanity. But Agent Morehouse can’t help but be attracted to a Beacon like Katie, and she to him. Even as they fight zombies the world over, they must fight their intense attraction to each other, hoping to keep Katie from suffering Agent Morehouse’s terrible zombie fate.
Overwhelming feeling after reading this book – “Huh.”
The book is split into four main sections:
- Part One – The First Days: Death Rises
- Part Two – The Contagion Period
- Part Three – The New World Order
- Part Four – The Present
Part One is an introduction to our main character, Katie Allred, and follows her journey into adulthood. She is a high-school senior who’s parents have insisted she forget about college and focus on getting a job and moving out on her own as soon as possible. This section of the book is the longest by far, covering 45% of the book in total.
Katie is left as one of those ambiguous main characters (otherwise known as the “Bella Syndrome”). There is no real description of her given so as to allow the reader to picture themselves as the main character in the book and better live the story. She is depicted as a bit of a loner in high-school life, keeping to herself and definitely not part of the “in” crowd. She’s had a rather uneventful life and her parents live on the bottom cusp of the middle-class; not destitute but only making enough to make ends meet. This seems to be the only way of life her parents know and is all that they are hoping for from their daughter, inferring a sense of pride in working hard for working’s sake.
Katie seems to float through life doing whatever she is told and never questioning it. Or, if she does question it, writing it off as “well, this is just what adults do”. I guess this is where the New Adult category assignment has come from, in that Katie is taking her first venture into adulthood without knowing what that means or how to navigate this stage in her life. Other than this though I would easily classify this book as YA. There is nothing seedy or “mature” in the storyline to make it too much for a YA reader to handle. Maybe that is coming in the next books in the series?
Once Katie finds a job at the Zimble Box Corporation she begins noticing strange things in the world around her. She is given a clerical-type job at the company but never really told what she is supposed to do or why. And several of the other employees at the company seem…less than human. But not only is the Zimble company a little “off”. When she is put on a special assignment to learn all she can about the “in” crowd at her school, she starts noticing that things are a little “off” with some of her classmates as well.
I don’t want to spoil the book for other readers, so I will not be going through the rest of the parts of the book in detail. You’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out what they entail.
On to other items…first off. The synopsis tagline “Twilight. With Zombies.” is really rather misleading. I was expecting something along the lines of Warm Bodies, where a human falls in love with a zombie. But Book 1 has nothing to do with this romance, only hinting at something in the final chapter. In fact, the whole book ended up feeling like a teaser for a bigger story that we haven’t gotten yet. It’s the background, the prequel to a New Adult zombie romance story. I am assuming that all the tormented romance will be forth-coming in the series. But for this book I was left wanting more. More of what I was expecting to get.
The Zombies. Now this was a twist I actually preferred in this book. The author took a page from the book of Twilight and instead of death-warmed-over zombies with green skin falling off and blood stained chins, the zombies here look like regular humans. They are able to assimilate into human society and live otherwise normal lives (apart from the need to eat human flesh and brains on occasion). The only indicator to humans like Katie is that these zombie “people” seem a little “off”. But they easily ignore their intuition and write it off. I enjoyed this remaking of a classic monster into something that could be living among us.
The writing style used by the author was different than I am used too. The book is narrated in first person by the MC. And the best way I can describe it is that I felt like I was reading the MC’s diary, with dialog. It was well-written, but was almost a re-telling of events that had occurred with the MC’s future thoughts on the significance of them. In some points, it is as if the MC had forgotten to write things down in a while, so the chapter summed up the last fews months in only a few short sentences. All I kept thinking was of my own diary and the many, many entries that started with “I know I haven’t written in a while so here’s what has happened over that time”.
Overall, I wasn’t Wow’ed by the book, but I didn’t dislike it either. I was content with the writing and the story, only left wanting more of the romance and the things that are hinted at in this book. I suppose I will need to read the next book in the series to find out where this story is going and if I will like that place in the end. No word at the time of this posting as to when Book 2 will be coming out.
We gave this…
I promised a giveaway, and here it is!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway