By Jamie McGuire
Series: Red Hill, Book 1
My Rating: 4 Stars
Jamie McGuire has done it again. Red Hill is the first book in a stunning new series about the end of the world as we know it. And boy what a book this was. You may be familiar with McGuire from her Beautiful series or her Maddox series. This is a whole new world and entirely different from anything she has written before. To say I was pleasantly surprised by this book is putting it lightly. I’m a huge fan of McGuire and consider her one of my favorite authors. But I’ll be honest, I was worried about her venturing into entirely new areas with her writing. I however, had nothing to fear. McGuire has proven to be a superb writer and able to entice her fans with each and every word she puts on paper.
Scarlet is a divorced mother of two trying to make ends meet and do what’s best for her two girls. Having finally gathered the nerve to leave an unhappy and unhealthy marriage, Scarlet is happy with being single and focusing on her children. Nathan is stuck in a loveless marriage and can’t remember what it’s like to be loved. Only his daughter Zoe keeps him sane and coming home everyday. Miranda, is a college student who is dealing with anger about her parents divorce and only cares about her new car and spending time with her sister and their boyfriends.
When reports about a widespread mysterious illness start coming in from news agencies, these four strangers will face extraordinary circumstances and will find themselves doing and acting in ways they never thought they would. As they each make their way to safety, their lives will intertwine in ways they never imagined. Together they will have to fight to stay alive. When they seek shelter at Red Hill they will form a tight knit unit making their secluded ranch the safest place for them to be after the apocalypse. As they become closer and closer, love is created and destroyed but they wonder if there is even a place for it in this new world.
Kudos to Jamie McGuire for creating another astounding story for her fans to gobble down. This book was original and drew me in from the very first page. I’ve read my fair share of zombie apocalypse books and this is definitely at the top of the list. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It terrified me and had my heart racing from the very first page. I couldn’t stop reading but I desperately wanted to because of the intense feeling of unease created by the events taking place. I loved how McGuire humanized all of the characters in the story. How they struggled to find sense in a senseless world. How they clung to small pieces of their old life but recognized that they had to let go if they were going to survive. How does one stay human in a world where structure, government and laws have broken down? When it’s every man for himself, how do you trust others with your safety? One simple mistake can mean someones life and no one wants it to be their life that is extinguished.
I think what made this book so frightening for me is how realistic it is. We never really find out what causes the pandemic but there is suggestion that people who received the flu vaccination were contracting it faster than others. And in the beginning there is a reference to a scientist in Germany who reanimated the dead in an experiment. Maybe it’s me letting my imagination runaway with itself, but this seems completely plausible to me and absolutely terrifying. I’m completely convinced that it’s only a matter of time that something like this happens. It may not be zombies per say but it’s going to be something. I only hope I’m not around when it happens.
According to Goodreads, this is the first book in a series. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything about the second book or when it might be released. I sure hope it’s soon. I’d love to see what happens next. Though I’m sorry to say that some of my favorite characters will not be returning. Sigh…It’s one of the known facts about zombie stories…characters die and often they are the ones you loved the most.
Overall, another great read from Jamie McGuire. It’s unique but still completely her. There is a little bit of something for everyone in this book. If you aren’t a zombie apocalypse person, don’t fear there is more to this book than just zombies. The plot line is complicated and the characters are solidly developed and they interact, grow, change and struggle. So, go and checkout this book now. I think you’ll enjoy it.