Until the End of the World
by Sarah Lyons Fleming
Publication date: July 12th 2013
Category: New Adult
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, Zombies
Source: Personal purchase
Cassie Forrest isn’t surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too.
This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of.
Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.
Until the End of the World is very different from the zombie books I have been reading lately. It’s not horror, per se, but more of a post-apocalyptic chick-lit zombie tale.. and I was perfectly happy with that. This character driven story is told from Cassie’s POV. The beginning was slightly clumsy, but it did smooth out about a quarter of the way in. I really dig stories that begin when life is normal so we can find out how the shit hits the fan along with the characters. It’s suspenseful because I know it’s coming, but they don’t yet. It’s like watching a horror movie and knowing the monster is hiding behind the door. You begin biting your nails, then start screaming at the screen, wishing they could hear you and run the other way, but they can’t hear you and before you know it.. BLAM!!
This post-apocalyptic tale begins with an introduction to our main character, Cassie, and her closest friends, Penny and Nelly (Nelson). The three of them work in the same building and find out about the infection hitting their city together. Other parts of the country had been dealing with this strange affliction, but it hadn’t come near them.. until now. We learn that Cassie has some major drama from her past that she has yet to overcome. It’s not just one thing either; her baggage would never get checked for free with how heavy it is!
There’s a hefty amount of backstory mixed in with the present day apocalyptic chaos which I rather enjoyed. I was able to get to know the characters, and not just one or two people, but a handful of them, in a very intimate way. I chuckled at their quips and cried with them through their pain. I also wanted to beat the piss out of Penny’s sister, Ana, and Cassie’s ex-boyfriend, Pete (I’m calling him Pete because he hates it. hehe). Having so much information to process did make it a slower read for me, but I honestly didn’t mind. I’ve been reading some seriously fast-paced, over-the-top craziness this month so the change of pace was really nice. Some people prefer non-stop action and having every other page dripping with guts and brain matter when it comes to zombie fiction, and to those people I have to warn that this may not be your speed. This is more contemporary/apocalyptic than horror, but it’s not without awesome moments of gore, suspense and action. And we all know there is more to fear in the zombie apocalypse than just the undead.
What I really fancy is the amount of prepping content in this book. I am fascinated with prepping and although I tell certain people it’s for any potential disaster, most people know it’s all about the zombie apocalypse for me. I’m not the queen of prepping by any means. I don’t have a gravity-fed water supply or intricate things of that nature, but I do have food, water, medical supplies and even weapons stored securely in my basement. I was happy as a lark reading about how prepared some of the characters were in this story, and could relate to some of the eye-rolling going on.
Overall this is a solid four “zombie head” read for me, and that is no easy task to accomplish with a debut novel. Kudos, Sarah! You have a fan for life. I recommend Until the End of the World to all fans of post-apocalyptic zombie fiction mixed with suspense, drama and a dash of romance.
** UPDATE ** It’s been days since I finished reading this book yet the characters and their story continue to resonate in my mind. I love this book enough to read it again, and for me to read a book more than once is almost unimaginable. For these reasons I am changing my rating to FIVE zombie heads!
~About the Author~
My first novel, UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD, is a mixture of post-apocalyptic, zombie, women’s and suspense fiction. I’m currently working on the sequel, AND AFTER.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I now live in Oregon with my family and, in my opinion, not nearly enough supplies for the zombie apocalypse.
But I’m working on it.
Sarah’s Website | Facebook | Goodreads
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