For Scarlet, raising two daughters alone means fighting for tomorrow is an everyday battle. Nathan, desperately clinging to a dead-end job and a loveless marriage, survives purely for his little girl, Zoe. Whilst Miranda’s biggest problem is driving her sister home from college with their boyfriends, whilst keeping her new Mini Cooper scratch free.
When news comes of a deadly epidemic, panic seeps into homes all over the world and chaos ensues… Knowing that they can’t outrun the danger, they all head for shelter and security at the same secluded ranch – Red Hill.
When a normal day spins out of control and the world comes crashing to an end, how far will they go to save their loved ones? Would you slow down to help a stranger if you were both running for your lives?
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?
I won a signed copy of this book in a giveaway a while back and had not previously heard of it but after reading what it was about I knew it was my kind of book, especially with it being inspired by The Walking Dead – one of my favourite television programmes – I was eager to start reading. Red Hill is set against the backdrop of an apocalyptic world and follows 3 main characters, Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda on their journey to safety and trying to find their loved ones. They all decide to head for the same secluded ranch in the countryside – Red Hill – where they believe they can find shelter and stay safe. All 3 of their journeys overlap along the way and whilst taking cover at Red Hill they begin to seek comfort and assurance with each other and realise that despite the catastrophic events, when the world ends, love can survive.
Watching Zombies and reading about them are very different things. You have to rely on your own imagination to make it scary enough to do it justice and I was a bit worried and curious how it was going to translate as I’ve never read any zombie related books before. But as I said, I am a huge Walking Dead fan so it was easy to put a picture together in my head. I liked the 3 different points of view, Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda. It was interesting and exiting to hear how people with different personalities were dealing with their individual situations. I particularly warmed to Nathan however, with his wife leaving him the very day the deadly epidemic broke out, there was something really touching about a single dad who was previously depressed and in a loveless marriage having to pull everything together to take care of his daughter. At the beginning, they are just 3 normal people trying to make sense of the whole thing and doing whatever they can to keep those closest to them safe but you slowly learn about each of their pasts along the way and how all of the characters who end up at Red Hill ranch are in fact all linked in one way or another. I thought that was a really nice touch to the story because it showed not only that it’s a small world but in the midst of all the devastation, they all share some common ground which I think was the reason they all felt for one another’s situations. I liked that despite everything, the whole story centres around love. Not only the unconditional love you feel for your children or parents but new feelings that rise between two of the characters who had never previously met and probably never would have if it wasn’t for what happened. It shows that love really can be found in darkest times.
I think this book was fantastic at showing the emotions of the characters – if not more than any zombie film/programme I’ve watched. When watching it, you see the actions the characters are taking when they are afraid or determined but you can’t always feel it, and the looks of their faces don’t sometimes register what they are probably feeling inside. This book however painted a very good picture of the state some of these characters got in when they were scared or alone and for me, I could actually feel the sheer panic rising up in me for some of the situation they found themselves in. The only small criticisms I have for this book is firstly, I would have liked some more background information on how the zombie apocalypse came about in the first place. You do find out the general gist of how it started but I would have been interested in hearing the specifics. Secondly, during the first part of the book, before the characters actually reached Red Hill ranch, I had quite a hard time imagining the setting in my head. The towns, roads and highways all seemed like a bit of a blur to me but that may be down to the fact that this book was set in America and whereas I’m in London, we don’t use some of the same terminology.
Zombie apocalypse fans who like The Walking Dead, drama, chaos and a bit of romance thrown in – this one’s for for you. This was a touching yet dramatically devastating story about love, loss and how the human race would cope if the unthinkable happened. The characters showed courage, determination and how in the event of a global tragedy, you would do everything in your power to keep those closest to you safe.
Jamie McGuire is the New York Times bestselling author of Walking Disaster, Beautiful Disaster, and the Providence trilogy. She and her husband, Jeff, live with their children just outside Enid, Oklahoma, with three dogs, six horses, and a cat named Rooster.
You can find Jamie and Red Hill on the links below