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 page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
I shall start my review with this...
What happens when a virus spanning the globe reaches your home and turns ordinary people into mindless man-eating monsters? Through the eyes of three very different characters, Red Hill explores the human condition when faced with unexpected and untold horrors.
The lives of three different people become intertwined when their world is ravaged by a virus that turns people into zombies! Scarlet, a hardworking divorcee searching for her two daughters, Nathan, a young father trying to protect his only child, and Miranda, a college student trying to find refuge at her father's ranch along with her sister and their boyfriends are all pushed to their limits.
This was my first Jamie McGuire book and as a fan of The Walking Dead, I was really intrigued by the premise of this novel. I can't help but compare the two storylines because they have several parallels. However, what I did appreciate about Red Hill (and sadly, not something TWD offered) was the onset of the chaos. We are introduced to Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda prior to the zombie attacks so it allows the reader to witness their initial reactions to these events.
Jamie tells their story from all three points of view. While typically this can be confusing or overwhelming, she was able to deftly examine the situation from all three perspectives all the while creating an exciting concurrent stream of action. The story was not only well written, but the pacing keeps the reader engrossed as we try to figure out "what or who is next?"
The first half of the book is spent getting to know Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda as their try to determine each their next move. By the second half of the book, they all congregate and take refuge at Red Hill Ranch which is located outside the city. This is where the story takes a different turn as three people with different priorities have to get to know each other, learn to trust each other, and work together for the safety of those left.
The thing I love about books like this (and shows like The Walking Dead) is that they make you question everything! We all knows that zombies are make-believe, but WHAT IF. What if we, as ordinary people, had to defend ourselves from something stronger than ourselves? As individuals, we can say that we're all rational and logical. As a group, we're more likely to be panicky and stupid. Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda don't have just zombies to fear. How do you tell apart the good from the bad? How do find the strength in yourself to do the things you know you need to do in order to protect yourself and those you love, even if it means doing things that are distasteful? Our characters are forced to dig deep within themselves to face these realities.
While there is some romance, it's actually LOVE and it's many forms that takes center stage. Love of a parent for their child/children, love for your partner, love for your sibling, love for humanity. When the loss of life and family become commonplace, our characters begin to explore new relationships with one another proving once again that even when at odds, people need people!
While you expect there to be death, I found myself getting attached to these characters and emotionally reeling from certain losses. *shakes fist at Jamie McGuire* The ending, while hardly a happily-ever-after was realistic and fit in perfectly with the story. There is so much more to Red Hill than I can possibly fit into a review. It is not an easy read, but it was certainly worth it. It is a captivating tale about people's capacity for courage, strength, perseverance, and love. I'd recommend it to fans of contemporary, post-apocalyptic horror, and zombies.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.Her most recent novel, Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written bestselling contemporary romance Beautiful Disaster, and the Providence series. Jamie now lives in Enid, OK with her three children and husband Jeff, who is a real, live cowboy. They share their 30 acres with six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.
1 Winner will get a Jamie McGuire Tote Bag as well as a Signed Limited Edition of BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, a copy of WALKING DISASTER and a copy of RED HILL.