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Saturday, July 18, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay @wmmorrowbooks @paulgtremblay @jessmapreviews

Survivor Song 
by Paul Tremblay 

Thank you William Morrow for these amazing free copies.

Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: July 7, 2020
320 Pages
Genres: Horror, Apocalyptic

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government's emergency protocols are faltering.

Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie's only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.

Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink.

My Review:

"This is not a fairy tale.  This is a song."

I wasn't sure how I was going to rate this.  I wasn't even sure I was *that* invested for the majority of the read.  And then during one part, I let out a huge breath I didn't even know I was holding and turned the book over while I processed this extreme relief.  That, my fellow readers, is the sign of an extremely well written book.  A book that seems to maybe trudge a little bit with it's continuity of moving forward.  A book that in it's entirety only lasts for a few hours within its time construct.  

The friendship between Rams and Nat is golden.  I have this closeness with mine and know we would do anything for each other so their friendship was something that hit truly home.  If you're not into reading pandemic/apocalyptic books while actually living during one, you probably don't want to pick this one up to read quite yet - but definitely keep it on your tbr shelf.  Tremblay hits on a lot of what is happening in this world - the Tree and his comrades being the epitome of the shit that makes me mad in this world today.  I felt my heart beat faster like I do when I read some of the headlines these days when I read this part of the story.

There's not a whole lot to tell here - we have a rabies like infection that makes not only humans, but animals, into zombie like creatures and everyone is trying to contain it but.....  the world tends to go to shit here as we all very well know.  However, the trek that Nat and Rams take is one of hope, courage and basic humanity.  I don't know y'all.  There's something that wants to keep me from giving this 5 stars and I have no real reason not to... because at the end of the world, this brought all the emotions I have had during this real pandemic into one big knot in my chest.. and any book that brings forth this much emotion.....

A note from Tremblay: "Survivor Song is about the act of going on.  It's an ode to the costs and to the hope of that conscious act."


Jessica's Review:

Man, talk about a time for this book to be released. SURVIVOR SONG by Paul Tremblay was one I was both excited for and a little apprehensive about after seeing it categorized under "Horror - Zombies" on Goodreads. I'm one of the few that seems to be over the zombie movies and books, but I love Tremblay's writing, so it was definitely worth giving a try! There's just something about his writing and how he weaves the characters and events together that's so addictive. 

There's a highly contagious strain of rabies that is quickly spreading through the country. To make even more terrifying, it's infecting people and animals alike. As if having to worry about just avoiding people wasn't enough of a challenge. What makes this strain so deadly is that it has a very short incubation period and symptoms can come on fast once bitten. Ramola is a pediatrician and receives a frantic phone call from her best friend, Natalie. She and her husband were attacked and now she desperately needs to get to the hospital for treatment. To makes things worse, Natalie is 8 months pregnant. The clock is ticking to make it in time to be treated before symptoms start to develop. 

This takes place in a short amount of time, and I've always enjoyed these types of books. There's something more suspenseful about them and they keep me glued to the pages. One of the highlights of SURVIVOR SONG is the relationship between Natalie and Ramola. Two best friends that will fiercely protect each other and do whatever is necessary to keep them safe. I know this might not be what everyone wants to read at the moment with everything happening in the world right now, but I highly recommend keeping it in mind. Once again, Tremblay brings us a scary and heart-pounding read you won't want to put down!

4 stars

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