Today is my stop for the Solstice: A Novel of the Zombie Apocalypse blog tour and I’m doing a book review.
Release date: May 7, 2012
Publisher: E-Volve Books
Format: ebook (provided to me in exchange for an honest review)
Age Group: Adults
Pages: 234 (224, not counting the title page, etc)
Source for Synopsis: Goodreads
Challenge: (personal) 2012 Reading Challenge
On the eve of winter Solstice, a massive flash envelopes the Earth and then there is nothing. The sun no longer shines and civilization is plunged into unending darkness. Those exposed to the mysterious flash have changed—they have become bloodthirsty, cunning, and determined to devour anyone who is not infected. They are Ragers.
In Sweden, a group of uneasy travelers hears a broken broadcast. There is hope. Something called Sanctuary waits, but it is thousands of miles away, somewhere on the shores of the British Isles.
Meanwhile, in a London supermarket, a high school English teacher from the States finds himself stranded along with a handful of students on a senior trip. Outside, hoards of hungry Ragers await, ready to tear them limb from limb. Their only hope is to find Sanctuary.
Solstice is a tale of hope, terror, survival, and finding love at the end of the World.
I forgot to look for and write some when I was reading this book, and since it’s an ebook, I don’t feel like skimming through it. So, this time, like a few other times, there are no quotes to share here.
Gore: yes, lots and lots of it
Action: 5 stars
Pacing: 4.5 stars
Plot: 4 stars
First of all, I love the cover, partly because it’s blue, but also because…I don’t know, I just like it. Although, I wonder who that girl is on the cover, it obviously can’t be Melanie because she never turned into a zombie.
I wonder if the book is called Solstice because all of this crazy stuff happened after the solstice, since they kept referring to it that way.
The story starts with a girl named Melanie, who is getting ready to go home from university for the Christmas holidays. On her way home in the train, the train suddenly stops, and that’s when the zombies come out.
This book is mostly about a family that is trying to escape this mess and hoping that they would find a better place to live. Along the way, they meet many people who they become good friends with and dread leaving them when they need to leave. There is another “family”, but they’re not actually a family, they’re a bunch of people who have gotten together hoping to survive and end up becoming like a family, unfortunately, many of they don’t survive. It’s like there are two different stories inside the same world, it’s different and I like this style of storytelling even though it got kind of confusing sometimes.
The zombies or Ragers, as they call them in the book, claim that they saw a light right before they turned, yet it is never explained what they meant by that or how that came to be in the first place. There is no sunshine or moonlight, so it’s always very dark, and because of this storm/light, the world is now filled with blood thirsty cannibals, a.k.a. zombies, with fatal injuries and dirty and ripped clothing that don’t phase them at all. These zombies also speak, it doesn’t make sense how they could talk with intelligence, since their brains don’t work anymore, but as I said above, I tried not to think about what made sense and what didn’t and I ended up enjoying it more than I would have if I didn’t ignore it.
In the beginning, there were four point of views, it was kind of confusing at first, but then I got used to it, later on in the book, it reduced to three povs as one of pov person met another pov person, and then near the end there were only two povs, which made it a bit easier to understand who’s point of view was whose, but it was also sad too.
This book has: intense scenes, lots of action, many characters, a creepy setting, and it’s fast paced, although, it does have a flaws in logic, but it’s book, so I usually don’t think too much about logic when I read paranormals, fantasies, and horror books and movies, it helps me enjoy the story better. There are also cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, this made me want to keep reading to see what’s going to happened to them next. It’s a great way to keep people reading. Between the two, I liked/enjoyed Tomas’ families story better, plus they got lucky that none of them died or turned into a zombie…well, no one that we or they actually care much about, you can guess who that is when you meet Tomas’ family near the beginning of the book. Although at the end, something very sad happens, i can’t say what, because I don’t want to spoil the book for you.
It was hard to tell who was the main character, was it Tomas or was it Melanie? Since they both had around the same amount of povs and neither of felt like they were more important than the other.
Even though there are so many characters in this book, the story isn’t too character driven. Even though I did care about some of the characters’ fates, I didn’t love any of the characters like in many other books, but that’s ok because there’s so much going on, plus you keep thinking who’s going to die next, since no ones safe in this world.
This is the first time I read a zombie novel, besides Generation Dead, which is the opposite of the zombies in this book, it’s hard to explain withought giving too much away, if you want to, you can read my review of the second book in that series.
Click here to read my review on Generation Dead: Book 2 Kiss of Life.
Since I never read a novel about man eating zombies before this, I’m just going to explain my reactions for what I think of zombies aas a newbie.To be honest, they scared me a lot, and there were a lot of disgusting moments too. I watch and love The Vampire Diares tv show, and lots of people die in there, but that doesn’t bother me too much, unless it’s one of my favourite characters that die, but in this book, it freaked me out, I think it’s because it’s my first time reading a zombie novel, maybe after I read a few more, it won’t bother me much anymore and I might actually like them, but right now, I’m not so sure. Especially because of the unnecessary ending, it was too much and too sad.
I wonder if the author plans on writing a sequel to this book, because right now all I know is that this is a standalone novel with a disappointing ending, with none of our questions answered. Questions like these: What is that light that some of the zombies kept mentioning? How could the zombies still be able to think and speak properly when their brain isn’t functioning? Is this zombie apocalypse ever going to end? What are the zombies going to do if every human is dead? Are they going to die too? Start eating animals? Die for Good? These are the things that I’m wondering about.
This book was fast-paced, intense, action packed, and really creepy. I liked it. When I signed up for this blog tour, I wasn’t exactly sure what this book was about, besides zombies, so I decided to give it a try, since I never read a zombie novel before, except for Generation Dead, and I liked it better than I thought I would, but I didn’t love it, especially because of the unnecessary ending, it was too much and too sad, I cried. I don’t like reading tragedies, I’m going to be really careful when I decide to read a zombie novel. She could have stopped a few pages earlier, but instead she continued and made it feel like there was nothing left in their world to live for.
After reading this, I feel like reading a light contemporary novel, I don’t think it’s a good idea to read a paranormal novel or anything like that right now, I need a brake from those, especially after this book.
I rated this book: 3.5 stars, (I didn’t make any half star pictures yet, but I might soon).
About the Author
Donna Burgess lives with her husband, daughter, son, many cats and one goofy Golden Retriever in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. When she is not writing, she can be found on her longboard, behind a good book or on the soccer field. She is the president of E-Volve Books. She holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Journalism and is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Creative Writing.
If you read this book, then tell me what you thought about it in the comments section.