Sometimes, the best person to fight the monsters is someone who’s been one.
Bitten and infected, cured, feared and despised, life isn’t easy for Survivors of the disease that turns ordinary people into flesh-hungry monsters. It’s even worse for Alex MacCallum when he has to deal with anti-Survivor activists like Micah Clarke.
The world has lived with Meir’s disease for thirteen years, but when a new strain starts turning the population into eaters faster than ever before and their city is overrun, Alex and Micah grudgingly join forces to stay alive.
Can the two enemies survive the hordes of eaters, as well as each other, long enough to discover a way to stop this new virus?
Title: Mutation | Series: Twenty-Five Percent #1 | Author: Nerys Wheatley | Pub Date: 2015-May-4 | Pages: 328 | ASIN: B00X6CH3KY | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Self-Purchased/Kindle Freebie
So, confession, I’ve been in a bit of a sexy trash book slump. I think I was in a bit of a slump before I started reading the sexy trash, but after I devoured all 9 novels of a series in less than a week, I was in a bit of a book coma. That, combined with the change in the seasons means I’ve had something like 3 audiobooks and 5 physical books going, with no desire to actually finish any of them. Well, luckily I’m down to 3 audiobooks and 4 physicals, because reading during my downtime at work, Mutation finally hooked me.
Essentially, this is a post-zombie apocalypse zombie-apocalypse novel with a Survivor from the first outbreak reluctantly teaming up with a person that would like to see all Survivors dead to save the world. (By world I mean Britain.) For a while, I was worried it was going to turn romance-y because it felt like it could easily go there, but luckily the author played it straight thriller, so there was no smoochies to distract me from the constant near-death encounters.
The first thirty percent of the novel or so is competently told, but nothing about the author’s style stands out. However, after the two main characters have been forced into several life or death situations and a bond between them starts to form, the novel goes from meh to something delightful. Because Nerys Wheatley has a talent for writing cheeky/snarky dialogue that had me doing a Mutley snigger at my desk multiple times.
One of the things I really liked about the novel was the fact that the amount of crap that goes wrong for the two protagonists is almost slapstick ridiculous. But it doesn’t feel like slapstick. If I was in the situation the two of them were in, I know good and well that all the crap that went wrong for them would go wrong for me. So it’s almost facepalming worthy but kind of train-wrecky in the fact that you just can’t look away or wince along with the characters.
I mentioned it earlier, but I will mention it again, for a 328-page novel, Mutation has a very high amount of “Aw, f***” moments that end with you being almost certain that someone is going to get extremely screwed. I loved it.
Overall, though there was a bit of a slow start, Mutation was a fun read and I would definitely be willing to pick up more from Wheatley in the future.
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Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
She is also a co-founder of Ladies of Horror Fiction, though she has stepped down to regular crew level.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.
This is why I can’t not finish a book. I might miss out on something good. I like the idea of being cured. Interesting twist!
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