by Kellie Sheridan
Series: The Hitchhiker Strain #1
Publication date: 19 March 2013
Snarky Books, eARC, 271 pages
After surviving a deadly plague outbreak, sixteen-year-old Savannah thought she had lived through the very worst of human history. There was no way to know that the miracle vaccine would put everyone at risk for a fate worse than un-death.
Now, two very different kinds of infected walk the Earth, intent on nothing but feeding and destroying what little remains of civilization. When the inoculated are bitten, infection means watching on in silent horror as self-control disappears and the idea of feasting on loved ones becomes increasingly hard to ignore.
Starving and forced to live inside of the abandoned high school, all Savannah wants is the chance to fight back. When a strange boy arrives with a plan to set everything right, she gets her chance. Meeting Cole changes everything. Mere survival will never be enough.
Firstly, I’d like to thank Ms. Sheridan for inviting me to host a tour stop for Mortality, as well as for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a review.
I was slightly hesitant about reading Mortality at first. I wasn’t really into zombies, and I had attempted to read another book on zombies before this but I could barely get past the first three chapters without feeling bored. However, I decided to give Mortality a go as I was hoping for a change from the many dystopian novels I had been reading – it would be refreshing to have a change from authoritarian governments and forbidden love.
Mortality was written from two viewpoints – Savannah and Zarah. I found this rather interesting, and I certainly do not think it is easy writing from two perspectives and yet allow the chapters to blend well and link together. Personally, I felt that Ms. Sheridan’s attempt at this was laudable: she let readers into the minds of two very different girls, showing contrast between their characters and the things they go through, as well as how they handled these events. Still, I was a little disappointed by how these two characters cross each other’s path. It seemed rather abrupt to me. This leads me to my next point, which is on the flow of the chapters. Honestly, I felt that the story was quite slow-moving (but I suppose you can’t expect much when living in a world overrun by zombies, and the constant need to find shelter and basic necessities to live), but there were mini-climaxes and action to keep me reading. Personally, I also felt that the story was more rushed towards the end, which was bittersweet. Nevertheless, a plus-point of Mortality was its humour – it made the whole ‘the-world-is-ending’ situation not as heavy.
I have to admit that I liked Savannah as a character from the very first page of the story. She’s fiesty, badass (she uses a crossbow as one of her zombie-fighting weapons!), and not a damsel-in-distress. Through the book, I observed that she often took charge of things; she wanted to make a difference through the things she does. That was what made me like her character: she isn’t the type of girl who would sit around, not do anything and still expect something to happen. The downside, however, is that she can be quite reckless with her decisions, and lacks hindsight at times. I found one character trait about Savannah admirable, and that was her selflessness. She put her friends before herself, showing concern about their health as well as care and love towards them. She thought about how her decisions would directly affect the people she’s closest to, and tried hard to make things work out for everyone.
One thing that bothered me about Savannah, however, was her attraction to Alex. I mean, I just don’t get it. He’s pretty hot-tempered and violent, and I he doesn’t try to view the situation from other people’s point of view – thus giving me not a very good impression of him. I was quite disappointed with Savannah in this aspect, as her liking for Alex seemed superficial and had not much depth to it. The story did not give a background which could have supported why Savannah actually liked him. Zack, on the other hand, was much nicer. He shared a brotherly love with Savannah, and he was much more level-headed and mature.
Next, Zarah. I found her character interesting, and she’s portrayed a sweet and loyal person in the book. I’m also amazed by the amount of self-control she has. (I’m not going to talk much about her, as well as Liam and Cole, ’cause I don’t want to give any spoilers)
And so, I’ve come to the end of my review on Mortality. Despite the bittersweet ending Mortality had, I’m still looking forward to reading Duality, the second book of The Hitchhiker Strain. I certainly hope that it’ll be more action-packed, along with new adventures and obstacles for the characters to face! Do check out the prequel of Mortality, which is End Dayz. Here’s the cover and synopsis:
by Kellie Sheridan
It’s month after the dead first began to walk. The miracle vaccine that was supposed to save us all has failed.
Now, four teens fight to stay alive as a stronger, smarter breed of zombie begins to appear, threatening to end humanity for good.
Four short stories, 11,000 words total.
Prequel to Mortality (March, 2013).
That’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned and check out the interview with Ms. Sheridan that’ll be coming up shortly.