St. Louis is falling to pieces. In the midst of rioting, a dangerous new disease has sprung pushing an already dire situation over the edge. Those who are infected suddenly become extremely aggressive, attacking and even eating those around them.
And Olivia Bennett is caught right in the middle of it.
Liv’s hectic life of school, work, and motherhood grind to a halt as the city around her begins to devour itself. Forced to flee from her car with nothing but a diaper bag and her eighteen-month-old daughter, Elli. Liv must trek forty miles on foot across the feral infested suburbs of St. Louis to a safe haven that may not even be safe.
What other hope does she have?
(Excerpt retrieved from author's page)
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What I liked about this book
Character's Internal Journey
I really enjoyed Liv's changes in perspective while she ventures through the shredded landscape of the St. Louis suburbs. I also saw some interesting mechanics within the story. An aspect that makes Devour a great apocalyptic story is the use of an extreme scenario to exaggerate and juxtapose the mundane. Blalock uses these conditions to criticize society's more selfish values and priorities. This voice however, does not present in an overbearing fashion.
One thing that I have been dwelling on is Liv's perceptions of her liabilities and assets. Her daughter is a source of obvious disadvantages when attending college, working a job, or even evading a horde of zombies. Her husband is her rock and shelter. When Liv's challenges threaten to overwhelm her, he is always there with the right words and actions to rejuvenate her spirit. In the telling of this story, I was presented with an idea: Our burdens may be the center of our fortitude, and we often see when shelters have become snares.
Suspenseful and Immersive
Of course it was suspenseful! It wouldn't be a very good zombie book if it wasn't, right? But beyond that, this story gripped my attention in a vice with the details of these relatable and abject characters. The scenes are illustrated well. In many instances I could place myself along Liz as she move through various environments.
What I disliked about this book
Editing and Ending
These are actually minor and petty points. The issues I have with the edit is in proofreading. They were very rare. But as I was so engrossed in this read, the distraction was less forgiveable than usual.
Saying that I dislike the end may not be entirely fair, as it was solidly executed, strong, and reasonable. However, it was also frustratingly tragic. So, it's criticism will remain for screwing with my emotions.
About R. L. Blalock (from author's website)
R. L. Blalock’s love of reading started young. As a child, her father would read stories to her before bed every night. In middle school, she and her best friend bonded over books and writing. Her love of zombies, though, started later in life. In 2008, when R. L. Blalock first watched the remake of Dawn of the Dead, she instantly fell in love with the genre.
Born and raised in Sacramento, California, R. L. Blalock now lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her loving husband and precocious three-year-old daughter. Their family also includes three pets: Memphis, a Pit bull/German shepherd mix who prefers to spend his days cuddling; Dixie, a Pit bull/Akita mix who greets everyone with excited squeals and enough kisses to last a lifetime: and Pazuzu, the Green-Cheeked Conure who thinks she’s a dog.
By day, she gets the pleasure of waking before the sun is up to serve coffee to all the morning commuters in Lake St. Louis. Despite the early hours, the job has it perks. She can get her hands on as much coffee as she wants.
During what precious little free time she has, R. L. Blalock likes to read whatever dark and twisted book she can get her hands on or scare herself silly with the same nightmarish kinds of video games.
I love books! For most of my life I have been reading them, and giving my insights to friends and family. This blog is for sharing that passion with the many others that love books too.