When scientists initiate human trials for a drug created to prevent and cure the common cold, nineteen-year-old Scarlett McKenzie's life rapidly crumbles around her. Her mother, Grace, having fallen on hard times financially, is among the first to be injected with the medicine. Hours later, Scarlett is faced with her mother; cold, dead, blind... and hungry.
Scarlett is forced into the new world - a world where the dead rise to feed on the living and the constant fight for life brings out the worst in even the best people - along with her boyfriend, Jimmy and his twelve year old sister, Alice.
Along the way, she will of course meet new people – survivors, just like her – but can anyone really be trusted when the shit hits the fan? Forced to endure the pain of losing people she cares about in the most horrific ways, just how long will it be before she loses her mind, and is there anything or anyone who can keep her from losing who she is?
‘Roamers’ is the first instalment in a series of three books following Scarlett McKenzie in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s a fictional look at how a young woman might learn to adapt in a world where nobody is guaranteed to survive day-to-day.
Whilst the dark colours provide links to the book's dystopian genre, its silhouettes increase the air of mystery that comes with Roamers. The only downside to a cover with dark colours is that it becomes less eye-catching, although this is arguably a necessary sacrifice for conveying the novel's themes.Book Blurb Score: 7
This is a good blurb and conveys the book's story and themes very effectively. I think the only downside to it, is the inclusion of the phrase, "the sh*t hits the fan"; whilst explicit language on the blurb may give an impression of the suitability of the novel for different age groups, I also think it takes something away from the rest of the blurb, particularly as most of it is so eloquent!
I found no problems with the formatting of this book, and there was nothing out of place that drew attention away from the story.
There was the occasional odd syntax that made reading this book a little more difficult; whilst such phrases still made sense, they were written in a way that caused me, as a reader, to slow down and think about what the text was actually trying to say. Nevertheless, the book overall was written very well, and I noted no serious spelling or grammar issues (aside from a few typing errors).
So much happens in this book! I found the plot gripping, with just the right mix of personal issues thrown into the dystopian, zombie novel that this is. The story was easy to follow and grew more and more intriguing as the protagonist began to change and adapt to the world around her. Overall, a great book filled with tension, drama and intrigue.
Scarlett is an extremely strong character. You can really see how she changes as the novel goes on. My only gripes are that perhaps she changes a little too fast initially; whilst it is in her character to be strong-willed and violent when it comes to the dead, the gaps in time between different characters skip out some important character development that may have been weaved in. I also think that some of the other characters in the novel seem a little undeveloped (particularly at the beginning with Jimmy and Alice), although this may only be because they are juxtaposed to the well-developed Scarlett.
It is hard to give the originality of this novel an extremely high score, just because the zombie genre is one that has already been explored frequently in books and TV programmes alike. Nevertheless, I do think that <em>Roamers </em>approaches the topic in a different way, making the main narrative not about the undead, themselves, but about the character, Scarlett.
This book was such a great read; whilst I would normally say the pacing of the story was a little too fast, I think this speed matched the book quite well. There are hardly any moments of quiet reflection that may cause the reader to put down the book; there was always something happening, and always something to be fearful of!
I think this book combines simple and complex language to form an interesting narrative. Whilst keeping the content accessible with (somewhat) simple terms (which is important in this type of book), it also introduces more complex language to intrigue the reader and remain sophisticated.
I had no problems reading this book; I thought the pace was good and there were no obvious issues causing me to slow down in my reading. The topic itself kept the tension and drama in the book and thus made the narrative all the more intriguing.