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Red Hill: A Novel

Red Hill: A Novel


Red Hill: A Novel

avaliações:
4/5 (14 avaliações)
Comprimento:
9 horas
Lançado em:
Oct 1, 2013
ISBN:
9781442368811
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

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?

Red Hill grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
Lançado em:
Oct 1, 2013
ISBN:
9781442368811
Formato:
Audiolivro


Sobre o autor

Jamie McGuire is the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Sacrifice, Beautiful Redemption, Beautiful Oblivion, A Beautiful Wedding, Red Hill, Walking Disaster, and Beautiful Disaster. She and her husband Jeff live with their children just outside Enid, Oklahoma, with three dogs, six horses, and a cat named Rooster. Please visit JamieMcGuire.com.

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3.8
14 avaliações / 25 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (5/5)
    Red Hill reads like a very terrifying movie but at the pace of a well written book. I liked how the progression of the story was paced with care and restraint. I was anxious reading it, knowing that the proverbial shit could hit the fan at any moment and was a bit creeped out by just the build up of the story. When things did hit the fan, I felt the intensity of the moment and the terror that the characters might be feeling. The scary aspect of the story was very well timed and detailed.

    Great world building and character development, liked the different POV's from the three significant characters. They grew as the story progressed, I liked that they rose to the situation and were kick ass Zombie hunters. I say Zombie because I don't want to give away the names of the walking dead the characters came up with in the book. I think all the names fit, I especially liked Zoe's. Speaking of Zoe, I thought that little girl was the fiercest of all the characters. She was not whiny and very mature, it shows how resilient children are.

    It really was interesting to see all these characters with six degrees of separation ultimately converge in one place basically strangers coming together for a common goal; survival.

    The saddest part was experiencing Scarlet's desire of wanting to see her girls again. It was so sad, it had me thinking as a mother; would I give up or keep hanging on to the possibly unrealistic hope that my child/children is alive and will find me? I also liked that the romances made sense to what they were all going through and it wasn't just there for show.

    Red Hill was scary, sad, action packed, had intensity, believe it or not a little funny and an overall great story about a bunch of people trying to find their way in a new scary world. It is a wonderfully terrifying journey with characters to root for.
  • (3/5)
    Pretty good for a zombie apocalypse themed story. I liked Scarlet's character and that she got her survival skills by watching zombie movies with her kids. The story's main focus seemed to center more on the relationship between all of the people who ended up gathering at the remote home of Scarlet's employer than the actual apocalypse. So for those of you who are all about the Walking Dead this may be a little tame. There's also some romance which for me just distracts from the story line but it didn't deter me from the story. Overall a good book, not sure if it's part of a series but as a stand alone it works.
  • (4/5)
    Very good read! The times when I was not busy and had time to pick the book up to read I did not want to put it down. I really liked the characters in the book (Scarlett, Nathan, Zoe, Skeeter) to name a few. I normally would not pick up this type of a book to read about zombies or about apocalypses but, this one was really good and I enjoyed it! There was sadness, hope and most of all love intertwined all in thi book!
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    I'm not even sure where to begin.

    This was my first Zombie book and if others are anything like this then I need them now! I liked the different POV's from our three main characters. I like how it helped show us how their paths crossed.

    Scarlet is a x-ray tech working at the hospital when the news of the outbreak begins. Frantic she leaves to find her daughters, fearing that the last time she will ever see them had been that morning when she dropped them off at school. All she knows is that she has to find them and make it to Red Hill Ranch and they will be safe. This begins her journey.

    Nathan was waiting to pick up his daughter Zoe from school when the radio broadcasted the news. Hw got Zoe and fled for safety not sure where he was going, but knowing he had to do something fast, anything to keep his daughter alive and safe.

    Miranda, her sister and their boyfriends were all headed to their dad's ranch for the weekend when it begun. Miranda stayed level headed while trying to get them all safe and reunited with her dad where she knew everything would be okay..

    All three with the same goal- stay alive. All crossing paths at some point during the chaos, all leading to the same place where they have to learn to trust one another.

    This is a story of fighting for your life, never giving up. New and old relationships tested and formed. Kill or be killed. Red Hill was an amazing read, with just enough romance to make it work..

    There are certain parts that I wasn't happy with, but everything worked out in the end and it all came together the way it was supposed too.
  • (3/5)
    I kind of finished it out of spite. I do a lot of things out of spite.

    My main problem with this book is that it was emotionally muted. I was told, over and over again, that people were distressed or broken hearted or whatever, but no-one behaved that way. Everyone came to terms with their circumstances far too quickly.

    Despite being an apocalyptic story, the stakes seemed really low. There was little actual conflict, and everything seemed really easy. There was no real sense of threat facing the characters..

    I also had an issue with how one of the characters was treated. It seemed like her death was a literary punishment for falling for someone else, even though the writers preferred relationship came across as unhealthy and controlling to me.

    3 stars because there were good bits and the ending section did actually work quite well.
  • (5/5)
    Red Hill reads like a very terrifying movie but at the pace of a well written book. I liked how the progression of the story was paced with care and restraint. I was anxious reading it, knowing that the proverbial shit could hit the fan at any moment and was a bit creeped out by just the build up of the story. When things did hit the fan, I felt the intensity of the moment and the terror that the characters might be feeling. The scary aspect of the story was very well timed and detailed.

    Great world building and character development, liked the different POV's from the three significant characters. They grew as the story progressed, I liked that they rose to the situation and were kick ass Zombie hunters. I say Zombie because I don't want to give away the names of the walking dead the characters came up with in the book. I think all the names fit, I especially liked Zoe's. Speaking of Zoe, I thought that little girl was the fiercest of all the characters. She was not whiny and very mature, it shows how resilient children are.

    It really was interesting to see all these characters with six degrees of separation ultimately converge in one place basically strangers coming together for a common goal; survival.

    The saddest part was experiencing Scarlet's desire of wanting to see her girls again. It was so sad, it had me thinking as a mother; would I give up or keep hanging on to the possibly unrealistic hope that my child/children is alive and will find me? I also liked that the romances made sense to what they were all going through and it wasn't just there for show.

    Red Hill was scary, sad, action packed, had intensity, believe it or not a little funny and an overall great story about a bunch of people trying to find their way in a new scary world. It is a wonderfully terrifying journey with characters to root for.
  • (3/5)
    I usually like Dystopian stories, but zombies just aren't my thing. This was a quick read and did have some interesting characters.
  • (4/5)
    Sad, scary and just a bit hopeful. Can't say I realized what this book was about before I started reading it - I liked it for its cover and the promise of suspense in the blurb on the back. But I did not think of all the possibilities of the word 'outbreak' could mean. In any case I don't think I will be reading another novel in this genre anytime soon.
  • (3/5)
    Due to what seems to be Influenza vaccine gone awry, people are dying and coming back. The book is told from three alternating first person points of view - Nathaniel, Miranda, and Scarlett - as they struggle to survive and make it to Red Hill Ranch for sanctuary. Overall, this was quite derivative and there were certain aspects that were not believable (I know, like zombies are believable).
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. As zombie books go it is not as much about the zombies than it is a love story. There are a few problems with the timeline within the story as well as the characters themselves. Several times I thought why would they do that. But, in the end I was caught up and invested with most of the characters that it didn't matter. I hope for a second book to continue the story.
  • (1/5)
    Wow. I think with all of the promising books out there, ones that are interesting and well written everyone will eventually fall prey to a bad book. Red Hill was one for me. ***** Spoiler Alert******1. Apparently I am ignorant. I did not now that in the new world of book speak epidemic and apocalyptic mean zombie! If I had I would have skipped this book. 2. The editing is of this book is nonexistent. The prologue ends with one of the main characters Scarlet saying " I knew the world ended on Friday. It was the last day I saw my children". NOT THE CASE.3. The editing of any of the action sequences to make them flow smoothly does not exist. You wind up suspending all logic and things just work out. Or they don't.4. The zombies are aggressive, except when they're not. It depends on whether the character needs to be killed off.5. The "epidemic" spreads around the world at such a lightening pace all logic and common sense disappears.6. Outside of Scarlet's kids managing to make it to Red Hill on their own after the prologue says they won't is surprising considering that they get all the way there and then are aggressively pursued by zombies, so we can lose a few more of the main characters, but Scarlet gets her kids.7. Nuclear fallout is radioactive and with the amount of fallout falling from the sky at the end of the book everyone who lived up to that point was not going to be around much longer.To read this book the reader must suspend all logic, common sense and reasoning, and just go with the story. Thank god it was a four hour book otherwise I would have been upset at the amount of time I wasted reading it. It was still a waste of time but I at least now I know more descriptions that mean "poorly written zombie book" and can therefore avoid wasting my time reading one.
  • (1/5)
    Listened for Review (Simon & Schuster)(Finished 4 of 7 disks)Overall Rating: None (DNF)Audio Rating: 4.00 (Not part of the overall rating)Why did I DNF? Red Hill is going to work for other people very well but I was just not connecting with the story (or characters). I felt that I gave Red Hill a pretty good whirl (50%) but at that point I just had to call it a wash. Why didn't I connect with the characters? I felt the adults were a little too cardboard and when they did get emotional it felt forced. I did like the teenage girl but she honestly wasn't enough to stick with it. Why didn't I connect with the story? At 50% they still weren't at Red Hill. I kept thinking at that point the story would start to gel and there would be a connection. However, the story was to disconnected for me and at points a little unbelievable. I did find out the rest of the story from a friend and feel like it wouldn't have been a good fit for me overall. Again I want to state that Red Hill works very well for other people so please read other reviews. You might decide to give it a whirl.Audio Thoughts: Narrated By Emma Galvin, January LaVoy, Zachary Webber/Length: 9 hrs and 38 minsThe narration for Red Hill was phenomenal! I thought that Emma and Zachary did a fantastic job. January didn't do a bad job either but it felt a little "flat"(and honestly it might have been the character not the narrator in this case). I thought they handled their parts well and each brought something different to the plate. Overall I would recommend this on audio if you are going to give it a whirl.Final Thought: Not every book is for every reader. Please read other reviews to see what other people thought of the story
  • (4/5)
    Post apocalyptic zombie thriller. A good read and gave me dreams for a couple nights after. Just shows me another reason not to get a flu shot.
  • (4/5)
    I will start this review with the acknowledgement that I have never watched a full episode of The Walking Dead. I have not read or watched World War Z. I have seen the original George Romero Night Of The Living Dead though and consider it absolutely amazing and revolting all at the same time. I also watched Zombieland. Way cool. But as it goes with today's Zombie fest culture, I am simply not a part of it. So in keeping that in mind I have to say Red Hill is one of the best reads you will pick up this year!"...We passed more people, unsure of who was running and who was chasing. I saw parents carrying their young children, and pulling along older ones by the hand. A couple of times people screamed at me to stop, begged me to help them, but stopping always meant dying in the movies, and I was barely eighteen. I wasn't sure how long we could survive, but I knew I wasn't dying on day one of the fucking zombie apocalypse..." The story is told through the narrative of three individuals. Scarlett, Nathan and Miranda. In the small city they live in an outbreak occurs, a pandemic that re-animates the dead. They each conclude, through sacrifice, that they much make it out of town and into the country. Each deciding to make it to the out of the way ranch known as Red Hill. They each take themselves or their group to Red Hill where together they will make their stand against the dead. The dead that at one time had been their love ones."...A person could go from someone you trusted and loved to an animal waiting to eat you alive. I didn't know Annabelle and had never seen her, but hearing the story of how she'd made it to safety and the didn't hesitate to risk everything to save Connor, she must have been a sweet soul. Hearing her clumsy footsteps upstairs as the sickness told her braindead body to move to find food was unbelievable. Annabelle sacrificed her life to save Connor, and the creature she'd become wouldn't hesitate to strip his flesh from the bone..." This is what Jamie McGuire does so well in Red Hill. Like a master chef she infuses the tale with just the right mixture of heroism and tragedy. No one is left untouched. But it is this humanity amongst the dark horror of Red Hill that makes it so good. You feel the guilt of Scarlett as she makes it to safety while her two daughters are left out in the danger of the flesh eating zombies. You wait with her on her vigil as daily she hope to see them coming over the rise to Red Hill. Miranda, the teenage angst of surviving and knowing her anger and selfishness toward others will never be forgiven. You cannot say you are sorry to the dead. And Nathan, whose only hope is to save his daughter Zoe from the horror that is all around them. There are others in the group and you will feel for each of them as they live and die and rise again."...I've seen grown men bawling and begging for their moms to save them from the death they knew was just minutes away. I've seen horrible. The woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with died in my arms, and then again when I put a bullet in her brain. That was fucking gruesome..." Jamie McGuire has created a quiet masterpiece of humanity struggling to maintain when all around it has succumbed to its inhumanity. It is never clearly explained why the dead come back to life but that is hardly needed. For in this horror novel it is not the dead that are important, it is the living.
  • (3/5)
    3.5 Stars (originally 5, but upon writing the review decided that there were more cons than pros)

    I've read a few zombie/apocalyptic books, but more of the mushy teen ones.. but never one like this. A bit about me, I cannot do extremely scary or suspenseful books because I can't handle it. Red Hill definitely had it's moments, but none worse than watching an episode of The Walking Dead. A couple of times, I had to calm my heart rate down then continue reading.. the thing, though, is that I read it all in one sitting. It was addicting. Really, what would happen to you if the world became infested with Zombies?

    This book had three separate POV's all written in the third person narrative. It followed Scarlet, a single mom working as a nurse whose children were with their father the day the disaster strikes. She is desperate to find them. Nathan, a newly single father who is trying to find safe place for his young daughter. Lastly Miranda, a college student and her friends are heading to her father's estate to seek refuge after the outbreak. All are headed to Red Hill Ranch, but even if they can survive the trip will they be able to make it for the long hall.

    The characters run into several others along the way, each banding together against the infected/shufflers/undead. I can't say that I liked any of the females in this book other than the children. Scarlet was kinda like a badass zombie killer, but was totally reckless. Often endangering others for her common goal. Miranda was totally great in the beginning of the book, but towards the end.. grrr! Her sister was a total whiny prep. I loved Nathan and his brother-in-law.

    There were some intense scenes leading up to Red Hill Ranch, ones that you could place yourself in the peoples shoes, and have to imagine the horrible choices the would have to make. It's not hard to imagine the kind of death that you'd encounter in this book. But I find myself thinking back to the story and kind of upset at some of the death that took place. G.R.R.M. anyone?!

    McGuire is a good writer, and I loved Beautiful Disaster but her other books fell a bit flat for me. This did, only on an entirely different level. If you want to write a zombie book, then make it a zombie book, if you then are going to introduce a romantic aspect, then focus on that. But it seemed that the romance was rushed, granted they can't go out someplace nice for dinner, but one day they are shooting the balls off of someone, then next in love. The the love triangle introduction for one of the characters, just pissed me off. Anyway..

    Overall, it was a fast paced, well written, addicting Zombie novel. Though, you could get the same effect as watching TWD, in my opinion. There is a romantic element to the book that is sweet and steamy one moment, and frustrating the next. I wish she could've focused on one persons story at a time in Novella form, then took off as a whole when they reach the ranch for the novel. If you think about it, there's just too much to include about the outbreak, survival, travel, etc.. then you include several characters and then add romance on top of that. I think McGuire just bit off a little more than she could chew with this one. But seriously, read it, there's some heart-pumping, zombie bashing that is definitely worth the read.

    ARC provided in exchange for honest review
  • (3/5)
    I can best sum up this book as Walking Dead fan fiction. It follows all of the same zombie rules as the popular television show with the exception of some minor plot point about flu shots. All of the characters in this story could be existing while Rick Grimes and gang are battling it out at the prison. I love Walking Dead so I thought the story was pretty good if somewhat predictable. You know how it is in the zombie apocalypse, as soon as you start getting the warm and fuzzies for someone they are usually offed in some self sacrificing gesture. Yawn. So there wasn't too much new here. Everyday folks just trying to find somewhere safe to ride out the devastation, in this case a ranch called Red Hill. The author used a gimicky plot device where the characters coincidentally bump into each other throughout the story before they meet properly and know each other at Red Hill. There's a lot of oh hey was that you that I saw at so and so. There are a few more flaws with the book but if you are a fan of Walking Dead and just want more of that type of drama then this will fit the bill as long as you don't think too hard about it.
  • (5/5)
    Loved this book. I found it hard to put it down :) The characters were all interesting enough and the story flowed very nicely. Only one thing I didn't like was Scarlet in the last chapter. I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say that I thought she a bit unfeeling. Otherwise, it was a great read. If you enjoy The Walking Dead be sure to pick this one up!
  • (4/5)
    I found this to be a quick, easy read. At times it was almost a cookie cutter in its premise, but nonetheless a good book. Would recommend this to any zombie fan!
  • (3/5)
    I picked up Red Hill thinking it would be one of those great, dystopian read with some scary elements in it, but what I did not expect was zombies. Shame on me for not reading a synopsis! Still, after the initial surprise, I found myself digging into the story and trying to piece together all of the puzzle pieces, anxious to get to the full picture.Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on Oct. 10, 2013.
  • (4/5)
    I’m torn about my feelings for this book. It’s one of the few times (maybe even the first) when I’ve read a book that was a definite 5 star read, one that would be a contender for top book of the year, but then the ending changes that reaction drastically.

    For me, Red Hill is a great book. The characters that McGuire writes are very well written and complex. There’s no lack of detail in the setting either. There’s a lot of action when there needs to be and some slower scenes to build up suspense. As I said, about 95% of the book was one of the best I’ve read in awhile, especially in the zombie genre.

    It wasn’t until the end that I had a change of attitude. I don’t like picking at a book for a small part of it, but the ending of Red Hill just doesn’t sit right with me. For one thing, it was predictable, especially given the genre, but that can be overlooked if not for a few other factors. Another thing is that it basically turned many of the main characters into secondary characters. It’s not that they were forgotten, instead they were pushed aside to make way for (even though I considered these characters the underlying main attraction) a few to become the major players. Overall, it felt too rushed. The book was very well written and thought out, and then there was a rush to end the book, almost.

    Lastly, and I’ll keep this brief, I felt the epilogue didn’t even belong in this book. I can see it as a way to set up an avenue for a sequel…though I feel it’ll be a very different book than this one and much less believable (if we allow room for some “realism” in the zombie genre). It added an interesting concept, but it was out of place for what I’d just read.

    Despite the fact that the ending left me not so comfortable calling this one of my favorite books, a majority of it was great. Spectacular even. I can understand why there’s a great buzz around Red Hill. Just be ready for a possible change of heart come the ending, or not, depends on the reader, I guess.
  • (3/5)
    I found Red Hill by Jamie McGuire to be a mediocre zombie apocalypse novel. The zombie action was satisfying enough and the characters were assorted and well drawn, but the author relied on too many far fetched coincidences that took any suggestion of reality from the story. Also, there was too much stress on “falling in love while the world crumbles around us”.The first part of the book, as various people are trying to escape the city during a viral outbreak was exciting, but once all the various groups came together at Red Hill Farm, the author didn’t seem able to sustain the story. I think the secret to a good zombie story is to keep up a high level of action so that the reader doesn’t have time to think about any plot holes. Unfortunately once the action in this story levelled off it became monotonous. The author then turned to a rather weak love story to provide interest which didn’t really work for me. I did finish the book but this certainly isn’t a zombie story that I would recommend.
  • (5/5)
    I’m so happy that Red Hill was the first Jamie McGuire book I’ve read. I absolutely loved it. I’m not one for super romancey books, and this one was right up my ally. The perfect balance of gore and love.

    I have to say, I think I connected with this book so much because I am a mom. This is a very strong point in Red Hill, as one of the main characters, Scarlet, is a mother also. She’s a strong woman that loves her children to the moon and back. All of the main characters were exceptional. Even the secondary characters have a place in my heart. The way the characters interacted with each other was great. Everything wasn’t all hey lets outrun the living dead. The characters fought, cried, and loved each other. There were some really strong bonds built within the story.

    I also loved the setting. I know it takes place in our time and world, but it was so realistic. McGuire didn’t go into deep detail about the zombies feeding, but the glimpses we got were terrifying. I don’t know what I would do if I were in the situations these people were in, and I think that helps make the book easier to relate with. I would have liked a clear answer about how the epidemic came to be. The explanation was kind of vague.

    I loved this book, and I now want to read more of Jamie McGuire’s work.
  • (3/5)
    This is a fast-paced, action-filled story beginning with the outbreak of a mysterious, previously unknown disease which is spreading fast. Soon the three main characters, each in a different location, realize they need to get out of the city and find a safe place to hide out. The point of view alternated between the main characters, but there were also a lot of other characters to keep track of, and after a while it got a little confusing. Unfortunately I couldn’t connect with any of them, but I was interested enough to keep listening; I had to know if anyone survived or if the world was truly going to end.The love story was very subtle, even by my standards (which is, I don’t like romances unless they are in the background), and I didn’t feel a great attraction between Nathan and Scarlet. The horror story was the typical dead bodies with a taste for human flesh. I like horror, ala Stephen King, but zombies aren’t my favorite and that could have been my problem. I was hoping for a new twist on the zombie genre, but didn’t find one. The writing is good, and a lot of people loved this book, so if zombies are your thing, give it a try.Audio production: Narrated by Emma Galvin, Zachary Webber, January LaVoy. I had no problem listening, the voices and performance of the narrators were good. The only caution for the audio is the need to pay attention to the changing points of view. The use of different voices does make that easier for the listener.
  • (5/5)
    As overused as the premise of the walking dead has become lately, Jamie McGuire’s addition to the subgenre properly brings back the horror and adds a fascinating layer of realism that only increases one’s terror. Red Hill does not just scare its readers though. It explores the infinite bonds of love that exist even when the rest of the world seems to be disintegrating. The subtle sense of hope derived from the love story serves to counteract the fright created by Ms. McGuire’s supremely realistic world.Ms. McGuire wisely steers clear of the science behind the mass infection and focuses on its aftermath. After all, the damage is done, and the band of survivors will not be able to change anything regardless of whether they knew or understood the cause. By zeroing in on the rapid decline into panic and eventual chaos, she heightens the psychological impact of the unfolding drama. More importantly, Red Hill concentrates on the mental torture it becomes to watch friends and family turn into these mindless monsters that terrorize their days and nights. The fear of death is one thing, but the fear of beloved’s death is quite another. Ms. McGuire skillfully captures the double agony and suffering of the survivors as they try vainly to protect their few remaining loved ones.While the story is scary enough to make one sleep with the lights on, it is also the purest kind of love story. While romance abounds, as tends to happen in end-of-the-world scenarios, it is Scarlet’s unwavering love and dedication for her missing children that tugs on the heartstrings and causes more than one tear to fall. Her refusal to admit defeat, her insightfulness, stubbornness, intelligence, survival skills, and self-containment are not only admirable but also painful to behold because one instinctively knows just how fragile her façade truly is. The rest of the are just as strong, devoted, and fragile, invoking a reader’s protective tendencies and sympathies at everything they have to face.Even though the story jumps between four narrators, Ms. McGuire achieves deep character development. This is in part accomplished by the first-person narrative, allowing readers close, firsthand insight into each character’s motivations and emotions. However, each character is also a careful observer. As their stories begin to intertwine and eventually collide, thanks to Ms. McGuire’s concise and effective descriptions readers have no problems recognizing certain scenes and making connections long before the narrators. The story falls into place seamlessly, and the process of it doing so is fascinating to watch unfold.Ms. McGuire brilliantly captures the emotional trauma of a world in chaos and the everlasting bonds of love, making it an unusual but supremely fascinating and successful reading experience of needing all the lights on and curtains drawn as well as a box of tissues for the tears. Red Hill is an absolutely terrifying horror story and yet, it is also a heartfelt love story, one that adds a sense of hope to the bleakest of situations.