Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Zombie Road Trips and Vendettas: My Review of "The Angels are the Reapers" by Aldan Bell

… but the thing inside her is a living thing and she likes the way her body holds on to it
 – and she likes to think about what it feels like to be him …
The Reapers are the Angels, Aldan Bell
Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.
For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

What a book!

This is a zombie book told from the perspective of a teenaged girl, Temple, who is all grown up. She was born after the apocalypse, and in the South – where manners still matter, and people keep their secrets close. She is a loner, preferring to travel solo after an incident in her past left her emotional scarred by the burden of responsibilities. The America of her world, however, is full of traps, and the zombies are just one. People turn on each other with the excuse of necessity and desperation. Families are ripped apart and people try and band together, but with near all hope lost, it’s not clear if they’ll make it.

Temple is an amazing character to follow. She’s got a quick mind, her own moral code, and she’s smart – she knows when to quit, when to push and when to run down her possibilities. At the beginning of the book her twanged voice just rung in my ear, like some confessional that bordered on stream of consciousness. She was just so understandable – so inexplicably understandable. Her life has been so hard, and yet she has a pure heart – even if she doesn’t think so. She is humanity’s last hope, something echoes so painfully in the last part of the story.

The way this story was written is interesting – I am used to the claustrophobia associated with zombie and especially zombie apocalypse stories – and though there are communities that scratch out a society by boarding themselves up in an old high rise, Temple’s journey s a journey in the proper American cross country road trip like way.

She drives through the old rotten roads, takes a train at one point, walks and deals with locals – even when they’re frightening. She is a product of the environment she was brought up in – she doesn’t fear the zombies so much as recognize them as just another danger in this screwed up world. It’s a refreshing, if nail biting experience.

All in all, this book was so well done – unfortunately, I don’t think I can review much more of it without giving away all the good parts – and there are tons of good parts.

So do yourself a favour, and this October, pick it up and read it! 

Up next for Review: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Read if you Liked:
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan



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