From Bloomsbury Spark, a gripping dystopian adventure.
It has been nine months since the virus hit, wiping out almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since.
When a blistering drought forces her to go in search of water, she discovers that the world isn’t quite as abandoned as she thought when a drop-dead sexy army deserter ambushes her, and forces her to take him home to her stockpile of supplies. There she finds her home decimated, and her brother missing, kidnapped by the military.
If saving her brother from the government means a suicide mission, Cora’s willing. But there’s one guy who can’t let her go…
Thriller novels, especially apocalyptic ones, are supposed to take you on this unforgettable journey that leaves you praying that the author doesn’t kill off your favourite character or render them helpless. They’re supposed to be those kind of novels that have your head stuck so far into the book that you can smell the ink. They should captivate you, horrify you at times and even have your heart bleeding with empathy for the antagonist when you hear about their unfortunate past. But Until We End did none of these things for me.
Frankie Brown’s end-of-the-world novel wasn’t even slightly close to that of Tom Leveen’s novel Sick or even the highly exalted Walking Dead. I’m not saying that Until We End didn’t measure up to the standards of these creations. Heavens, no. Instead, Brown brings a completely new variation to this beloved genre. Rather than focusing on a circle of people’s trials to remain alive while keeping their humanity in tact, she zooms in on two lovers determined to stay together despite the unleashing of a fatal virus.
At the beginning of the novel, readers are camping out with Cora as she tries to provide for her brother, Coby, with the little remaining stockpile that her father left behind. However, Cora is not even slightly at a loss; her scientist father (as crazy as everyone thought he was) suspected that an apocalypse was on the rise and stored food, nurtured a greenhouse and taught his daughter how to defend herself. Cora is seventeen, strong-willed, determined and hotheaded in a good way; most of the traits you need to survive a disease that wiped out masses of people. Still, she trusted waaaayy too easy and fought against reasonable thinking till it caused pain and sometimes death.
But I absolutely adored the relationship between herself and Brooks. From the time he kidnapped Cora from the river I knew that they’d be sharing a stream of sensual scenes. Brooks – an ex soldier and six-foot piece of handsome – acts as Cora’s muscle, lover and confidant. He was there for her when one of their good friends died from the virus. He backed her when she said she wanted to infiltrate enemy territory. He committed betrayal for her. They even have a moment, if you could call it that, in Cora’s jeep.
Still, for a novel centered around romance, there was very little of it. They hadn’t even came in much contact with people infected with the virus but more with the army than any thing else. Also, the only other thing the story seemed to be truly focused on was finding Cora’s little brother. So much so that the jeep incident was the only time the two were deeply intimate in the entire book.
Other than that, I enjoyed the fact that when Cora did find out the truth about the virus, it was shared with the readers. It was a risk Brown took since sometimes (like Walking Dead) the mystery lies in not answering all the questions. And we all know that mystery is super important if you want to instill fear.
Overall, reading Until We End was like being on a roller-coaster ride that hadn’t fully left the station but I bet, if given a sequel, it could prove to be a hell of a ride.
Frankie Brown writes, sells and hoards books in Athens, Georgia, a funky little town famous for its music scene. But, as anyone who has ever heard the fruits of Frankie’s musical endeavors can attest, her talents lie elsewhere. She’s turned her creative energy to crafting stories and can typically be found hunched over a keyboard in her neighborhood coffee shops.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark; 1 edition (December 19, 2013)
Length: 177 pages (Paperback)
Genre: YA, Teens, Fiction
Completed: December 2013