Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Book Description:

Published; July 9, 2019

Format: Audio/Audible

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Review –

Rory Power’s Wilder Girls is an unearthly read that takes a hard and disturbing look at what happens when a mysterious plague-like disease called the Tox infects the entire population of an all-girls boarding school off the coast of Maine.

When Wilder Girls opens, many are already dead, both teachers and students, and the entire island has been in quarantine for eighteen months.  Boats periodically come and drop off supplies for the quarantined survivors, but aside from that and the occasional promise that the CDC is doing everything they can to find a cure, there is no contact with the outside world.

The author does a wonderful job of creating an eerie and terrifying atmosphere by plunging her readers right into the action and showing us what the Tox has done to the girls.  Even with our first glance around the school, we see a girl whose arm has suddenly grown reptilian-like scales on it, another girl whose eye has sealed shut and now appears to be growing something beneath the seal, and even a girl who appears to have grown a second spine that protrudes out of her back. And that’s just scratching the surface of ways this disease is manifesting itself.  The mood is dark and desperate, there aren’t nearly enough supplies being sent, and most social conventions have flown out the window as the name of the game is survival.  I read somewhere that this book is considered a feminist retelling of Lord of the Flies, and from those first moments, I definitely felt a similar vibe between the two books.

The opening scenes caused me to ask  question after question and even got my inner conspiracy theorist humming.  What the heck is the Tox?  Why are everyone’s physical symptoms so different?  Why the total isolation, without even radio contact? Is the government responsible for the tox?  If not, is it something alien?   And on and on, you get the idea. This is a book that will definitely make you think and it’s also a quick read because you’ll find yourself just dying to get all of your questions answered.

I enjoyed the friendship of the three main characters, Hetty, Byatt, and Reese.  These three girls are very loyal to each other and do everything they can to make sure all three of them have the best chance of survival.  When Byatt unexpectedly disappears. Hetty and Reese make it their mission to find out what has happened to her.  What they find as they search for her is every bit as disturbing as the Tox itself and adds tremendous tension and suspense to what is already a book that you won’t want to put down.

I only gave the book 3 stars because I had a  a few issues with it.  The first is that I didn’t find the explanation for the Tox to be thorough enough for my liking.  As interesting as it was, I felt like it was explained in a very vague way.  Also, even though I liked the dynamic of their friendship, I didn’t feel emotionally invested in the three main characters.  I don’t want to say that I didn’t care about what happened to them because that’s not true, but I just felt like they were at arm’s length and would have preferred getting to know a little more about each of them.  One final issue I had was the ending, which was just way too open-ended for my liking.

There were just too many unanswered questions and I felted cheated.

BUT, I did LOVE the cover! (5 stars for the cover)

 

 

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After the Cure by Deirdra Gould

Book Description:

Published: August 24, 2013

Eight years ago the December Plague swept through the human population of earth. The Infected were driven mad by the disease, becoming violent and cannibalistic, killing even those closest to them without hesitation. Six years ago, the tiny surviving community of Immune humans found a cure, and the Infected began to wake up and realize what they’d done. Over time, society has begun to rebuild itself. It’s now ready to judge those responsible for the Plague. Nella Rider, the court psychologist and Frank Courtlen a defense attorney are trying to establish the truth. But more depends on it than they know. Can they find the answers they need before the fragile remains of humanity vanish for good?

Review –

This is zombie fiction at it’s best!

The plot is captivating and it’s scary to think that there are people out in our world TODAY crazy enough to pull off something like this. It also shows the lengths the human spirit will go to survive.  The characters are well-defined and Frank and Nella have such  good chemistry that you can’t help but route for them. Though this book is a good “stand  alone” it is the first of three in a series and I will definitely be reading those in the future.

If you like post-apocalyptic stories or the zombie genre, this book is for you!

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Scourge (Dr. Samantha Bower Medical Thriller #3)

Book Description

August 30, 2014
THE END OF THE WORLD

Dr. Samantha Bower witnessed the obliteration of human society. Entire continents decimated by a virus of unknown origins. Only a bleak world of ash and blood remains. One in which the survivors fundamentally change what it means to be human.

Samantha now struggles to make sense of the devastation, and the horrific response of humanity to an extinction level event. Left with little else, she accepts help from a man once sent to kill her. He offers her hope: a small village in the Congolese jungle unaffected by the virus. A place called Shangri-La that he claims to have seen firsthand. A place where the deepest mysteries of man’s arrogance over nature will finally be answered for her.

The world a barbaric wasteland, she must place her trust in a man that is fundamentally untrustworthy. With no other options, she goes with him in search for Shangri-La, and will discover a truth she could never have imagined.

Review –
I have to admit that this was my least favorite of the trilogy but still found it hard to put down. 
Dr. Samantha Bower is led into the jungle of the Congo, where the virus has affected no one, by the man sent to kill her.
It’s  action packed and all questions are answered in various scenes of the book and the ending is not over done and doesn’t leave anything out. A very timely series.
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Plague – A Medical Thriller by Victor Methos

Book Description

August 14, 2012
THE DEADLIEST DISEASE IN HISTORY . . .A lethal pathogen appears on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Dr. Samantha Bower of the Centers for Disease Control is handed the case and assigned to investigate its containment and origins.

A MYSTERIOUS FIGURE WHO ISN’T WHAT HE APPEARS TO BE . . .

Dr. Bower finds a microorganism unlike any she has run across in her lifetime. The symptomology points her to the most destructive disease in human history. One man has offered her help. A man with insight into the disease who reveals nothing about himself or his past.

THE WORLD ON THE EDGE OF A CLIFF . . .

Dr. Bower discovers that there are forces at work she can’t understand. All applying pressure to use the chaos of an epidemic to their advantage. But there is one thing she is certain of: humanity may soon be an endangered species . . .

Review –
Okay, I will start out by saying that I read this before the Ebola outbreak came to the United States, but having said that, what happens in this story could all be coming true. It’s very scary. If you can handle doom and gloom and gore then read this series and see what may lay ahead of us.
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