Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain, #1)

Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain, #1)

by Kellie Sheridan

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Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain, #1) by Kellie Sheridan

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.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016351278
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Publication date: 03/19/2013
Series: Hitchhiker Strain , #1
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 398 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

After taking a gap-year to live in Ireland, Kellie has now settled into a life focused on the publishing world. Between working for three small publishing houses, reviewing for her book blog, and writing, it’s all books, all the time. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kellie currently lives near Toronto, Ontario with her family, including a pair of Glen of Imaal Terriers.

You can visit Kellie online at

Or follow @Kellie_Sheridan on Twitter

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Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain, #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Addicted_Readers More than 1 year ago
This book has been a long time coming for me! I have been eagerly awaiting this book and trust me it was well worth the wait!!! The author has done something very interesting and original here in "Mortality"! We have two stories in one in this book. It's about two different girls living through the zombie apocalypse and how survival is the number one goal they have in common. But towards the end we get to see the purpose of the separate stories and how their worlds collide. I have never read a book like this and I really enjoyed getting two stories in one, then watching how they come together! Brilliant addition to this book and smart thinking for the author! Okay, So here's the plot: Savannah's Story! First story starts of where the prequel left off after a bunch of people from this community called "Ravencrest" and some outsiders from other states come together to clear out and secure this high school from zombies. Their's well over two hundred people in this school and things are tight, but still livable. But one thing they lack is one of the most important things humans could need. Medical supplies! So Savannah and a group of her friends (all boys) agree to head to the pharmacy to search for medical supplies. While their out in search for the supplies the school gets ambushed by hundreds of Z's (Zombies) and Savannah and her group gets separated from the survivors that had to leave the school. So they have to endure many struggles and hardship through the journeys but one thing they never realized is that the dead may not be the only threat out their, and that the living might very well be the ones to fear! When all seems lost in the world Savannah meets one boy that might offer a new life! Hope to all people! Hope to save the world from it's demise! But he needs one thing from Savannah, Her! Savannah goes through so much in her journey and is such a strong and likeable character. All the characters were hard not to like. The author has created a Zombie book like nothing I have ever read. I look up to her for creativity and originality with this book, She truly has done a remarkable job with this book! So will Savannah agree to help this boy save the world??? And if she does will she be able to do it before all hell breaks lose??? But most importantly will she be able to fight this undenying attraction she is having with him??? Well if you want those answers and more your going to have to read it to find out, you won't be sorry! Zarah's Story! Zarah is doing what any other normal teenage girl would be doing when the Zombie Apocalypse hits. Sitting in class gawking over the new boy Liam! When the first wave of the Zombies come across the United States they are watching the devastating attacks on the news trying to figure out what's real and what's a cruel joke! But they get their answers when kids at school start trying to eat each other! That's when the new boy Liam finally steps up to introduced himself in a, "Hi Zarah, we have classes together. Oh yeah, We have to go before we get eaten kinda way"! I guess when people start eating each other all shyness goes out the door! They travel through so many states searching for any since of hope left in world. Zarah and Liam go through the most struggles in the book. My heart really went out to them, for what they had to go through! This is a must read for ANY Zombie fans! I think you'll enjoy this new twist that Kellie has done with this book! It truly had me on the edge of my seat on the verge of screaming at times! It ended on a serious cliffhanger but it was a pretty amazing twist! Overall I definitely enjoyed the entire book and give it an EASY 5 stars! I can't wait for the second installment of the "The Hitchhiker Strain Series"!
CarolineA More than 1 year ago
This poor innocent book was received from NetGalley a little over a year ago. Due to it’s past release date it kept getting set aside in order to read and review books that were not yet released. I’m sorry to the author AND to myself, because this book was great! This is a dual POV story set in a post-apocalyptic world. The zombie apocalypse is here, and to make matters worse, a “vaccine” was distributed, but all it did was turn those who were vaccinated and then infected into living zombies. The story switches back and forth between Savannah and Zarah, two girl trying to survive pretty much on their own. Savannah is the character we spend the most time with. She’s 17 and sick of being cooped up in the high school, she wants to prove she’s grown up up enough to be out there fighting with the adults. She can definitely handle herself. Zarah on the other hand is more of a pacifist. After teaming up with Liam, a classmate, when it becomes clear they’re on their own they set off on their own trying to stay safe. She leans on Liam a lot to take care of her. It was interesting to see how each of these very different girls handle the situation they’ve been forced into. I was also surprised to find that this wasn’t a typical zombie novel, we got to see some insights that I did not expect! When the girls paths cross it’s really hard to know who to root for. This is actually only like, the fourth dystopian zombie-type novel I’ve ever read and only the second with true classic zombies. It had similarities to The Walking Dead, but it absolutely stands apart from the show. My only minor qualm was in the sort of insta-love between the two sets of characters. I’m giving it a pass because for Savannah it wasn’t really instant, it just came sort of out of nowhere. For Zarah the build up just wasn’t shown because she didn’t have as much of the story as Savannah did. I don’t think most teen readers will have a problem, and honestly, I didn’t really either. The ending had a slight cliffhanger, but if there wasn’t a sequel the reader wouldn’t be left completely hanging. There’s some closure, and the mission Savannah set out on does reach a somewhat satisfying end point. I’ll probably read the second book in this series at some point down the line. SHOULD YOU READ IT? If you’re into zombies and teen fiction yes. It’s a fast paced enjoyable read. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
avidreader012 More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting spin on the zombie genre. It is told from the viewpoint of a few different characters which, to some could be confusing but it made the book different and more enjoyable to me. There were a few editing issues but that didn't deter from the reading. It was well-written, the plot was engaging and the characters were as well. Nothing flat at all about this book. I look forward to reading the sequel.
seldombites More than 1 year ago
This book has far too many spelling and grammatical errors which distract the reader from the storyline. This could easily be fixed by having the story proof-read by somebody else before publishing. More annoying still were the sudden jumps in time or scene. Perhaps a blank line between the final paragraph of one scene and the first paragraph of the next would make these jumps less confusing. Having said all that, my only gripes with this book are technical. The story itself is engrossing and well-written. The characters are engaging and the situations frighteningly realistic. I found the time spent inside the mind of a living zombie particularly horrifying. It is no easy feat to create empathy for the zombies in a living reader, but the author of this book manages this so well that, when there is an altercation near the end between a living person and one of the infected, I was genuinely unsure of which character I wanted to win. Had the technical errors not been present, I would have given this book a full five out of five. As it is, I can only give it a four. Still, if this is a good representation of Sheridan's writing, I will definitely be on the lookout for more!
bkwrm29 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the switching perspectives throughout the book. I got an amazing insight into two girls lives and how very different they were. The Plot of the book may be based off of a common story line, but it built into this unique book that really brought something else to the table. I loved how this author wrote the story and allowed the reader to have an in depth perspective of both sides of the story.  Savannah is such an interesting character and I loved all how she handled all the hardships she was put through. She took everything that tried to take her out and used it to her best advantage. I loved her perspective and felt that her character was one that many people could connect with. Many of the other characters in this book had a different perspective then Savannah yet she didn’t let them discourage her from doing what she thought was right. I loved how each a character added to the story and made the story so much more interesting. Overall this book was pretty good. The only thing that really got to me was that many of the switches in perspective were inconsistent and I didn’t feel that every switch had a point in the story. Some of it was just fluff. I do hope to see the series continue and will be looking for the next in the book. **** I received this eARC from NetGalley.****
terferj More than 1 year ago
It reminded me a lot of the show The Walking Dead. Except there was two types of zombies. The 1st wave of them are the typical zombies: slow and dumb. The 2nd wave was different, they were smarter, stronger, and faster. Which made fighting them harder. I definitely would be zombie food against them. This book focused between Savannah and her friends - Zach, Alex, Pierce, and eventually Cole to Zarah and Liam. Savannah lives in the school they call New Ravencrest. She's tough and knows how to fight. She's been training since the zombies popped up. Their group goes on a mission and on the way back, that's when we meet Cole. Once they head back home they realized something horrible happens. While they were heading to the safe house they hide from a group called the United Militia, but one of them wasn't so lucky. So now Savannah has a different goal than the others. We see in the eyes of Zarah the world through the 1st and 2nd wave of the zombies. She was very meek. Lucky for her she had Liam there with her. He saved her butt in multiple occasions. The way this ended is going to make me very impatient! Ha! Anybody that likes things zombies then this book is for you. *I received this book thought Netgalley for a review*
DaniRoo More than 1 year ago
I'd like to imagine that I'm above being influenced by a pretty, pretty, oh-so-pretty cover, but the truth is, I'm not. I'm susceptible to awesome, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Truthfully, upon spying this cover in my inbox for a cover reveal this past December, I just knew I had to read it based on the cover alone. (Because that always ends well, right? But...) What does the cover mean? Are these two separate girls? The same girl? Is it a literal representation of a character(s) or is figuratively showing the duality of an individual? Is it more complicated than that? I had to know. FYI, I'm not giving you any answers in regard to those questions, but justsoyaknow, in relation to the story, the cover is pretty brilliant, and even better, the story between the covers lives up to the pretty. Er. Kinda. I mean zombie stories aren't pretty... but I think you get my drift. Soooo... my interest in undead brain munchers has been more of a recent thing, but my zombie-phase has lasted long enough to observe that most Z-stories are set up pretty much the same way. Infection spreads, people die, people reanimate with a craving for man (and woman)-burgers, insatiable hunger for human flesh propagates more infection, lots of death and reanimation until the country's infrastructure completely collapses. Lots of canned food, sawed off shot guns, rotting flesh, and living people trying to avoid being bitten by their zombified friends and relations. That's not to say zombie stories are all cut from the same cloth. Indeed, if a zombie-like virus ever did get unleashed into the general population, I could totally see it playing out as described above. But while this novel does have some of that, it makes a girl thankful when she runs across a story like Mortality that deviates a bit from the norm. Spreading quickly from ground zero in Cleveland, Ohio, the zombie epidemic moves like wildfire throughout the United States. The public is panicked and fearful as the U.S. government works tirelessly to get a handle on the rising masses of undead. When it's announced that a vaccine has been created that stops the zombie virus, people flock to get to get this miracle cure. However, as the saying goes... if a thing is too good to be true, it probably is, and it soon becomes clear that the vaccine has some rather... unintended and interesting consequences. And in the midst of this terrifying, harsh and uncertain world she's created, Sheridan simultaneously tells the separate stories of two girls - Savannah Cooper and Zarah Bhandari. Characters. Savannah. Her parents killed in a zombie attack, Savannah is taken in a cared for by the surviving citizens of her hometown, New Ravencrest. Savannah, feeling guilt over not being able to save her parents, has become fierce, itching to kill the creatures who took her parents from her. Eager to prove her capability and desperate to make a difference, She's thrown her energy into training to fight and survive against the Z's so that one day she'll be able to help protect her small community. Savvy is driven, determined, able to think on her feet, sarcastic, a little prickly, and has a tendency to be a tad dangerously impulsive; but she demonstrates just enough insecurity and vulnerability through her first person narrative to likable and sympathetic. But perhaps her most admirable quality is her willingness to put others first and her determination not to merely survive, but to live... and Cole, the intriguing stranger who's wandered into New Ravencrest, gives her an opportunity to fulfill her need to make a difference. Zarah. As much as I like Savannah, I love Zarah. Living in Cleveland, Zarah has a terrifyingly horrific front row seat to the first outbreak, and together with her classmate (and crush) Liam, her only goal becomes survival as they try to flee the zombie-infested city. Quiet, a bit nerdy and completely unprepared for zombies, I connected instantly with Zarah. Savannah is totally cool and kickbutt, but Zarah is more of a relatable every-girl character, and her arc throughout this novel, is undoubtedly my favorite part of Mortality. Her transformation from nerd girl to where Sheridan takes her at the end of the novel is some fantastic character development. Plus, Liam? Um... excuse me while I swoon. I just wish Zarah had been given slightly more page time. Savannah's narrative compromises about 2/3 of the book, while Zarah's story is told in the other third. But that's just me wanting more of my favorite character. In reality, the pacing and frequency of Zarah's story is pretty close to perfect. Like I said, I just want more. Cole. Optimistic, charming, earnest, driven by purpose and conviction, Cole has a mission to complete, and he's convinced Savannah is the girl to help him do it. In a world so overrun by tragedy, despair and hopelessness, Cole is a breath of fresh air. Not that he's been untouched by tragedy, but his hopefulness is infectious and help circumstances seem just a little less... bad. World. The world is pretty thoroughly laid out, and though it is developed pretty much according to the typical Z-description I gave above in the introduction, it's not stale. The dissolution of the US government and infrastructure is pretty much a certainty. Different groups of the living rising up in place of a centralized government? Definitely plausible. And these little self-governed pockets of humanity are fascinating, as each have their own goals, rules, and levels of... friendliness. When you're fighting for survival, peoples' true natures tend to reveal themselves - the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's just a great representation of how things could realistically play out in the event of a real life epidemic... zombie or otherwise. Story. The dual perspective narration, the unique little twists Sheridan uses to create her zombie lore, and the overall vibe of danger and unease she builds steadily throughout the novel makes Mortality pretty page-turning. Strong characters kept me invested, a strong world kept me intrigued, the characters' journeys as they set out to complete their various goals kept me entertained, and the ending left me grabby-handing for the next book. And that's all I'm going to say about that. Overall. Mortality is sure to satisfy any zombie lover's craving for a good Z-book.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
The zombies are killing of the world! Their disease is wiping out the world, one person at a time and survival is paramount. The sought after vaccine brings on a second wave of mutated zombies! Is survival even possible? Okay, before you say, ‘been there, read that,’ hang on and take a chance on this YA take on a post-apocalyptic world! The action is well-paced, the angst is minimal, the teen love triangle is non-existent! Mortality by Kellie Sheridan is refreshing, told from two POVs, that do not necessarily run concurrent with each other, timeline – wise. Savannah is a survivor, a teen who has seen the worst and continues to fight on, sometimes taking risks that may prove to be too big, but never being afraid to jump into the fray! Zarah is quieter, more feminine, less physically heroic, but a survivor, just the same. For ‘Team Savannah, we have Cole, who becomes Savannah’s key to being able to fight back for those who have been lost and those who need to survive. He knows things/people who may be able to help humanity and is determined to make a journey that is both dangerous and heroic, taking Savannah along with him. Together, they will fight their way to their destination. For ‘Team Zarah,’ we have Liam, a fighter, of the same ilk as Savannah and Cole. Without him, could Zarah even survive? And then their worlds collide… Kellie Sheridan proves she can write good “zombie stuff!” She does NOT overdo the gore, the fighting is well-paced and not overly drawn out! Her creation of Zarah shows us that not all MCs are created equal, and some have a quiet, hidden strength that could prove extremely useful in the future. Ms. Sheridan colors her scenes well, and emotionally ties the reader to the stake as the story unfolds, one layer at a time! A copy of Mortality was provided by NetGalley and Patchwork Press in exchange for my honest review.