Monday, 7 October 2013

Review for Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 1st October 2013
Genre: Adult, Apocalyptic, Horror, Survival, Romance, Thriller
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Jamie McGuire is the international bestselling author of New Adult sensation Beautiful Disaster. Although Beautiful Disaster doesn’t really appeal to me I have been interested in checking out this author and so when I heard about Red Hill which sounded more up my street I was eager to pick it up for an early Halloween read. I’m so glad that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be…

Going into Red Hill I didn’t know much about it other than it’s an adult apocalyptic novel about a deadly epidemic. I picked it up expecting a horror full of death and gore and although I got that to some extent it was also so much more than that. At its heart Red Hill is a survival story that takes a look at humanity and how hardship tends to bring out the very best and the very worst in us as humans. It demonstrations our strength and how quickly we adapt as a species to change and shows that when everything is stripped away what we live for and what keeps us going is love and hope. Even if you’re not usually a fan of horror I would still recommend giving this book a chance as the apocalypse is really just the trigger to the story setting up a series of events in the characters’ lives. The story is about what happens from that moment on and it read more like a contemporary novel compared to anything else.

The book is narrated by three different characters that begin the book as strangers but gradually their stories intertwine. Scarlet’s story begins as a nurse and watching the epidemic sweep through what starts as an ordinary day at the hospital was a fascinating narrative to read from. As the hospital overflows with this unusual illness Scarlet knows something is very wrong and flees to find her daughters who are staying with their dad for the weekend. Next we have Nathan whose wife decides to leave him and their daughter on the day that the epidemic hits and then we have Miranda a college student who’s driving her sister and their boyfriends to spend the weekend at their dad’s home on the secluded ranch Red Hill. I loved having the different narrations as not only did it keep the story snappy and fast paced but I also loved seeing the outbreak from all the different vantage points and watching the characters stories overlap. As the epidemic spreads you can feel the characters desperation and panic rise which made Red Hill a nail biting read.

As well as our three main characters there is a wide range of secondary characters and I loved each and every one of them! They’re all smart, strong, and compassionate and they grow and change throughout the novel meaning that my favourites were constantly shifting as well although I’d have to say that overall Scarlet, Nathan, Zoe and Cooper held a special place in my heart. However this is an apocalyptic novel and so of course it’s a given that not everyone will survive. My heart broke at several points during this book and I was in a state of constant fear for the characters’ lives. Red Hill is an intense read!

Overall I’d recommend Red Hill to pretty much anybody whether you’re a fan of apocalyptic horror novels or not. I’d especially recommend this book to fans of The Walking Dead, the movie Contagion or Tracey Garvis Graves novel ‘On The Island’ as the writing style struck me as very similar as did the story of survival with a dash of romance. Red Hill is a fascinating look at humanity and endurance and is a nice, solid, standalone novel that would make a perfect Halloween read!

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