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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thicker Than Blood by Claire C Riley & Madeline Sheehan (Review)

Title: Thicker Than Blood
Series: Standalone...ish
Authors: Claire C Riley, Madeline Sheehan
Published: January 2015
Format: ebook received for review
Pages: 366/Goodreads

A true friendship never dies. 

Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything…

Even an apocalypse.

Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize.

Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss.
Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity.

Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together.

But in such a savage world, is there room for love?

In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death.

There are friends…

And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.

Of course you knew I wanted to read this book.  I had to.  I've read both authors before, and they are fabulous - so a collaboration had to be just as fab, right?  Right.  And the book lives up to the hype.  Unfortunately, this book took me forever to read - due to my own scheduling.  It really burned me up, because I just wanted to jump right back into this world and find out what happens next!  Thicker Than Blood did a fantastic job of keeping me captivated.

Freedom was happiness, wasn't it?

Liesel and Evelyn.  B.F.F. How was I going to handle this part of the book?  I mean, generally I'm not into the sappy soul-sisters chick-lit.  I am not ashamed to admit I had a bit of a concern in the back of my head.  While it's nice to read about friendship, would this book only be about friendship?

This book is about everything. Yes, Lei and Eve have this amazing friendship, and it makes this horror novel unlike any other horror novel I've ever read.  These women are tight.  They know their loyalty is with each other, first and foremost, and nothing - nothing - can change that.  It was an interesting take on the matter.  I found it kind of showed me some things about myself.  There were instances where I cheered them on for being so together, and others I thought "Oh hell no, time to cut and run".

The zombie apocalypse didn't happen like it does in the movies.
Disaster didn't strike when we weren't looking.  No, we were all looking.  We were all waiting.  It was a slow trickle that began with a nightly news broadcast. 

Where Lei is generally shy and quiet, Eve is brash and outspoken.  Most women are probably going to identify with one or the other.  For me, it was Eve.  Evelyn doesn't always make the right decisions, but she always does what she thinks is right.  Do you know what I mean?   Leisel, on the other hand, goes through quite some changes in this book.  She starts as someone meek doing something crazy, and grows from there.  There were a lot of times I got angry with her, I wanted her to be stronger.  But the thing is, Leisel is very strong, just in a different way than Evelyn.  See, this is the infection after four years.  Four long years.  What would you do to survive?  Is there a rock bottom?  These two women go through very different experiences, but they do it together.  I don't know, it was a nice change from the usual heroine-striking-out-on-her-own-and-saving-the-world.

I don't know who wrote what, but these characters in the book are all very vivid.  Alex, young but strong and very chivalrous; E and his pushing, hard ways; Jami and his cool care and sexy personality... I found myself getting attached to different people throughout the story.  But the one thing you can't forget - this is the zombie apocalypse!!!!  Not everyone makes it.  This isn't some great big sit around the campfire and reminisce about what once was.   Honestly, if this book doesn't make you shed a tear at one point or another, I wouldn't be so sure that you aren't already a zombie.  I cried.  In fact, there was a point where I had to go in another room away from others and have myself a quick cry over what I read.  And in my opinion, a book that can make you do that is great.

So what comes to mind when I think of Thicker Than Blood?  Hmmm.  Horrific.  Fear.  Love. Survival.  More Fear.  Bone deep sorrow. Gore. And happiness.  Like I said, this isn't your typical zombie horror novel, which is exactly why you should read it.

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