Was this how the world was to end? Not with a bang and not even with a whimper, but with the slow deterioration of everything good and beautiful and kind?
To begin with, this book had me completely hooked, it was a really intriguing plot and I was looking forward to finding out the reason David was running. But, as is the case with a lot of novels, this did slow down quite quickly, and stayed slow for a while. It did quicken its pace again every so often, but in my opinion there wasn’t quite enough fast and thrilling elements to the book. I feel like a big part of these slow periods of the book was down to the fact that this book was almost 400 pages but it didn’t feel like the author really had 400 pages worth of interesting story. There were quite a few shock twists at the end of this novel, some surprising, some not. Also, the emotional ending had me a bit teary eyed.
I found the overall writing of this book peculiar, sometimes it was beautifully articulated and others times it was really amatuer, this didn’t put me off from reading it because the good writing outweighed the bad, but it’s something to take note of. The creepy atmosphere in this book was incredible. The scene with the ice cream man had me a little bit freaked… as Kathy put it ”That’s eerie as hell.” The tense atmosphere was also amazing! Some real edge of the seat moments came about in this story. Definitely some of the best tense scenes I’ve read in awhile, I got completely sucked into them. Even went over on my lunch break because of Turk and co!
Ellie was a little unrealistic. If I hadn’t been given her age (9), I definitely would have thought she was in her teens, maybe 14, 15? She was too intelligent and well structured to be believable as such a young child. The only thing that made her seem so young was the use of the word “daddy”, instead of “dad”. But this isn’t the only thing that makes her unrealistic… what little girl doesn’t scream and freak out at a massive spider about to eat a mouse? But apart from all this, Ellie was a very sweet little girl, definitely the kind of child you’d be proud to call your own one day.
Speaking of characters, it was refreshing to have David, a recently widowed dad who actively cared and wanted to protect his young daughter, as our MC, as it’s not often you find this sort of character in novels nowadays… or any days to be honest.
I think my opinion of the book wasn’t helped by the fact I was reading The Girl with All the Gifts at the same time as this, which has a very similar vibe to this, but I preferred the characters in that book. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy this book, I did like it, but I didn’t love it. Don’t judge this book by its cover! I know it looks dated and cheap but it’s worth a read if you’re into apocalyptic-horror-suspense novels.
Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read this in an exchange for an honest review.