Thursday, March 6, 2014

Audiobook Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Title:  Red Hill

Author:  Jamie McGuire

Narrators:  Emma Galvin, January LaVoy, Zachary Webber

Unabridged Length:  9 hrs, 38 mn.

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

My Review:
I am not usually a big fan of young adult fiction, but I did listen to Beautiful Disaster by McGuire and found it enjoyable.  When I requested this book I think the summary roped me in with Scarlet's story-fighting for life and freedom for her and her daughters.  Had I known this would be a zombie apocalypse novel, I probably wouldn't have requested it.  But boy, am I glad I did, because this book turned out to be more than that!

The story is told from basically three different perspectives, Nathan, Miranda, and Scarlet.  There is a different narrator for each of these characters and I think all of the narrators did a wonderful job of interpreting their personalities.  Each of our main characters come from different walks of life, but through their journey they find a common destination.

Nathan is a married man who notices things going awry throughout the day.  He quickly goes to his young daughter's school, pulling her out of class so they can seek safety.  When they arrive safely at home he is greeted by a letter from his wife, indicating she has had enough of this life with him and will not be returning.  So now it is just him who must protect young Zoe against the unknown forces.

Scarlet works in the medical field at a local hospital and she becomes concerned when patients are suddenly being admitted with odd symptoms.  When she sees a girl that was healthy just a couple of days ago suddenly facing her unexpected death, she knows things are not right.  She hears news updates throughout the day about a fatal outbreak overseas, but they have been assured it is not taking place in the United States.  Fearing for the safety of her girls she leaves the hospital right after her shift, finding only chaos in the outside world.  Her daughters are with her ex-husband so she must find a way to get to them.

Miranda is a college student and she and her sister are on their way home for a visit.  All they have to protect them on their journey is the outer shell of the VW bug when things get out of control.  Their boyfriends are with them but even they cannot protect the girls from the creatures, that were once humans, when they are ready to attack. 

As you can see, all of these characters come from different walks of life but they all have one thing in common.  The will and desire to survive.  They all have an inner drive that sets them on a path that will unexpectedly send them all to the same destination.  Red Hill.  They can only hope that Red Hill will be the place that will keep them safe until the chaos is over.

This book was an unexpected but welcome surprise for me.  Although I don't usually enjoy this type of novel I found myself looking forward to the next time I would be able to listen to it.  With themes of survival, endurance, love, and loss, you may enjoy this book too.  Although I don't think the ladies in my book club would have appreciated this one, I'm sure it would be a good fit for others.  I don't hesitate in recommending the audio version of this novel, especially for those that enjoy a plot laced with zombies.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


bermudaonion said...

I've avoided this because of the zombie aspect but now I'm wondering if I'd like it too.

Ti said...

I love this stuff!! I didn't think I'd like The Walking Dead either until I saw the first episode, but I've always loved anything having to do with the apocalypse.

Carrie K. said...

I really enjoyed this one on audio, too.

Nise' said...

I was pleasantly surprised by this audio too!

Vicki said...

Like Kathy, I didn't think I'd like it because of the zombies, but maybe I should give it a try!

Jess Gonzalez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jess Gonzalez said...

I remember I wanted to read this book but I forgot about it. I love the cover because it looks so peaceful and yet the book synopsis promises something scary and menacing. I enjoyed readig your review.

Jess@ Jessy's Bookends