When the world ends, can love survive?
When the world ends, can love survive?
For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone means fighting for tomorrow is an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.
When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.
Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?
Red Hill grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Jamie McGuire is the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Sacrifice, Beautiful Redemption, Beautiful Oblivion, A Beautiful Wedding, Red Hill, Walking Disaster, and Beautiful Disaster. She and her husband Jeff live with their children just outside Enid, Oklahoma, with three dogs, six horses, and a cat named Rooster. Please visit JamieMcGuire.com.
Read an Excerpt
THE WARNING WAS SHORT—SAID almost in passing. “The cadavers were herded and destroyed.” The radio hosts then made a few jokes, and that was the end of it. It took me a moment to process what the newswoman had said through the speakers of my Suburban: Finally. A scientist in Zurich had finally succeeded in creating something that—until then—had only been fictional. For years, against every code of ethics known to science, Elias Klein had tried and failed to reanimate a corpse. Once a leader amid the most intelligent in the world, he was now a laughing stock. But on that day, he would have been a criminal, if he weren’t already dead.
At the time, I was watching my girls arguing in the backseat through the rearview mirror, and the two words that should have changed everything barely registered. Two words, had I not been reminding Halle to give her field trip permission slip to her teacher, would have made me drive away from the curb with my foot grinding the gas pedal to the floorboard.
Instead, I was focused on saying for the third time that the girls’ father, Andrew, would be picking them up from school that day. They would then drive an hour away to Anderson, the town we used to call home, and listen to Governor Bellmon speak to Andrew’s fellow firefighters while the local paper took pictures. Andrew thought it would be fun for the girls, and I agreed with him—maybe for the first time since we divorced.
Although most times Andrew lacked sensitivity, he was a man of duty. He took our daughters, Jenna, who was just barely thirteen and far too beautiful (but equally dorky) for her own good, and Halle, who was seven, bowling, out to dinner, and the occasional movie, but it was only because he felt he should. To Andrew, spending time with his children was part of a job, but not one he enjoyed.
As Halle grabbed my head and jerked my face around to force sweet kisses on my cheeks, I pushed up her thick, black-rimmed glasses. Not savoring the moment, not realizing that so many things happening that day would create the perfect storm for separating us. Halle half jogged, half skipped down the walkway to the school entrance, singing loudly. She was the only human I knew who could be intolerably obnoxious and endearing at the same time.
A few speckles of water spattered on the windshield, and I leaned forward to get a better look at the cloud cover overhead. I should have sent Halle with an umbrella. Her light jacket wouldn’t stand up to the early spring rain.
The next stop was the middle school. Jenna was absently discussing a reading assignment while texting the most recent boy of interest. I reminded her again as we pulled into the drop-off line that her father would pick her up at the regular spot, right after he picked up Halle.
“I heard you the first ten times,” Jenna said, her voice slightly deeper than average for a girl her age. She looked at me with hollow brown eyes. She was present in body, but rarely in mind. Jenna had a wild imagination that was oh-so-random in the most wonderful way, but lately I couldn’t get her to pay attention to anything other than her cell phone. I brought her into this world at just twenty. We practically grew up together, and I worried about her, if I’d done everything—or anything—right; but somehow she was turning out better than anyone could have imagined anyway.
“That was only the fourth time. Since you heard me, what did I say?”
Jenna sighed, peering down at her phone, expressionless. “Dad is picking us up. Regular spot.”
“And be nice to the girlfriend. He said you were rude last time.”
Jenna looked up at me. “That was the old girlfriend. I haven’t been rude to the new one.”
I frowned. “He just told me that a couple of weeks ago.”
Jenna made a face. We didn’t always have to say aloud what we were thinking, and I knew she was thinking the same thing I wanted to say, but wouldn’t.
Andrew was a slut.
I sighed and turned to face forward, gripping the steering wheel so tightly my knuckles turned white. It somehow helped me to keep my mouth shut. I had made a promise to my children, silently, when I signed the divorce papers two years before: I would never bad-mouth Andrew to them. Even if he deserved it . . . and he often did.
“Love you,” I said, watching Jenna push open the door with her shoulder. “See you Sunday evening.”
“Yep,” Jenna said.
“And don’t slam the . . .”
A loud bang shook the Suburban as Jenna shoved the door closed.
“. . . door.” I sighed, and pulled away from the curb.
I took Maine Street to the hospital where I worked, still gripping the steering wheel tight and trying not to curse Andrew with every thought. Did he have to introduce every woman he slept with more than once to our daughters? I’d asked him, begged him, yelled at him not to, but that would be inconvenient, not letting his girl-of-the-week share weekends with his children. Never mind he had Monday through Friday with whoever. The kicker was that if the woman had children to distract Jenna and Halle, Andrew would use that opportunity to “talk” with her in the bedroom.
My blood boiled. Dutiful or not, he was an asshole when I was married to him, and an even bigger asshole now.
I whipped the Suburban into the last decent parking spot in the employee parking lot, hearing sirens as an ambulance pulled into the emergency drive and parked in the ambulance bay.
The rain began to pour. A groan escaped my lips, watching coworkers run inside, their scrubs soaked from just a short dash across the street to the side entrance. I was half a block away.
Just before I turned off the ignition, another report came over the radio, something about an epidemic in Europe. Looking back, everyone knew then what was going on, but it had been a running joke for so long that no one wanted to believe it was really happening. With all the television shows, comics, books, and movies about the undead, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that somebody was finally both smart and crazy enough to try and make it a reality.
I know the world ended on a Friday. It was the last day I saw my children.
MY CHEST HEAVED AS THE thick metal door closed loudly behind me. I held out my arms to each side, letting water drip off my fingertips onto the white tile floor. My once royal-blue scrubs were now navy, heavily saturated with cold rainwater.
A squashing sound came from my sneakers when I took a step. Ick. Not much was worse than wet clothes and shoes, and it felt like I’d jumped into a swimming pool fully dressed. Even my panties were wet. We were only a few days into spring, and a cold front had come through. The rain felt like flying death spikes of ice.
Flying death spikes. Snort. Jenna’s dramatic way of describing things was obviously rubbing off on me.
I slid my name badge through the card reader and waited until the small light at the top turned green and a high-pitched beep sounded, accompanied by the loud click of the lock release. I had to use all of my body weight to pull open the heavy door, and then I stepped into the main hallway.
Fellow coworkers flashed me understanding smiles that helped to relieve some of my humiliation. It was obvious who all had just arrived on shift, about the time the sky opened up and pissed on us.
Two steps at a time, I climbed the stairs to the surgical floor and snuck into the women’s locker room, stripping down and changing into a pair of light-blue surgery scrubs. I held my sneakers under the hand dryer, but only for a few seconds. The other X-ray techs were waiting for me downstairs. We had an upper GI/small bowel follow-through at 8:00, and this week’s radiologist was more than just a little grumpy when we made him run behind.
Sneakers still squishing, I rushed down the steps and back down the main hallway to Radiology, passing the ER double doors on my way. Chase, the security guard, waved at me as I passed.
“Hey, Scarlet,” he said with a small, shy smile.
I only nodded, more concerned with getting the upper GI ready on time than with chitchat.
“You should talk to him,” Christy said. She nodded in Chase’s direction as I breezed by her and her piles of long, yellow ringlets.
I shook my head, walking into the exam room. The familiar sound of my feet sticking to the floor began an equally familiar beat. Whatever they cleaned the floor with was supposed to sanitize the worst bacteria known to man, but it left behind a sticky residue. Maybe to remind us it was there—or that the floor needed to be mopped again. I pulled bottles of barium contrast from the upper cabinet, and filled the remaining space with water. I replaced the cap, and then shook the bottle to mix the powder and water into a disgusting, slimy paste that smelled of bananas. “Don’t start. I’ve already told you no. He looks fifteen.”
“He’s twenty-seven, and don’t be a shrew. He’s cute, and he’s dying for you to talk to him.”
Her mischievous smile was infuriatingly contagious. “He’s a kid,” I said. “Go get the patient.”
Christy smiled and left the room, and I made a mental note of everything I’d set on the table for Dr. Hayes. God, he was cranky; particularly on Mondays, and even more so during shitty weather.
I was lucky enough to be somewhat on his good side. As a student, I had cleaned houses for the radiologists. It earned me decent money, and was perfect since I was in school forty hours a week at that time. The docs were hard asses in the hospital, but they helped me out more than anyone else while I was going through the divorce, letting me bring the girls to work, and giving me a little extra at Christmas and on birthdays.
Dr. Hayes paid me well to drive to his escape from the city, Red Hill Ranch, an hour and a half away in the middle-of-nowhere Kansas to clean his old farmhouse. It was a long drive, but it served its purpose: No cell service. No Internet. No traffic. No neighbors.
Finding the place on my own took a few tries until Halle made up a song with the directions. I could hear her tiny voice in my head, singing loudly and sweetly out the window.
West on Highway 11
On our way to heaven
North on Highway 123
Cross the border
That’s an order!
Left at the white tower
So Mom can clean the doctor’s shower
Left at the cemetery
Creepy . . . and scary!
Red! Hill! Roooooooad!
After that, we could make it there, rain or shine. I’d even mentioned a few times that it would be the perfect hideaway in case of an apocalypse. Jenna and I were sort of post-apocalyptic junkies, always watching end-of-the-world marathons and preparation television shows. We never canned chicken or built an underground tank in the woods, but it was entertaining to see the lengths other people went to.
Dr. Hayes’s ranch would make the safest place to survive. The cupboards and pantry were always stocked with food, and the basement would make any gun enthusiast proud. The gentle hills kept the farmhouse somewhat inconspicuous, and wheat fields bordered three sides. The road was about fifty yards from the north side of the house, and on the other side of the red dirt was another wheat field. Other than the large maple tree in the back, visibility was excellent. Good for watching sunsets, bad for anyone trying to sneak in undetected.
Christy opened the door and waited for the patient to enter. The young woman stepped just inside the door, thin, her eyes sunken and tired. She looked at least twenty pounds underweight.
“This is Dana Marks, date of birth twelve, nine, eighty-nine. Agreed?” Christy asked, turning to Dana.
Dana nodded, the thin skin on her neck stretching over her tendons as she did so. Her skin was a sickly gray, highlighting the purple under her eyes.
Christy handed the woman loose folds of thin blue fabric. “Just take this gown behind the curtain there, and undress down to your underpants. They don’t have any rhinestones or anything, do they?”
Dana shook her head, seeming slightly amused, and then slowly made her way behind the curtain.
Christy picked up a film and walked to the X-ray table in the middle of the room, sliding it into the Bucky tray between the table surface and the controls. “You should at least say hi.”
“Not me, dummy. To Chase.”
“Are we still talking about him?”
Christy rolled her eyes. “Yes. He’s cute, has a good job, has never been married, no kids. Did I mention cute? All that dark hair . . . and his eyes!”
“They’re brown. Go ahead. I dare you to play up brown.”
“They’re not just brown. They’re like a golden honey brown. You better jump on that now before you miss your chance. Do you know how many single women in this hospital are salivating over that?”
“I’m not worried about it.”
Christy smiled and shook her head, and then her expression changed once her pager went off. She pulled it from her waistline and glanced down. “Crap. I have to move the C-arm from OR 2 for Dr. Pollard’s case. Hey, I might have to leave a little early to take Kate to the orthodontist. Do you think you could do my three o’clock surgery? It’s easy peasy.”
“What is it?”
“Just a port. Basically C-arm babysitting.”
The C-arm, named for its shape, showed the doctors where they were in the body in real time. Because the machine emitted radiation, it was our jobs as X-ray techs to stand there, push, pull, and push the button during surgery. That, and make sure the doctor didn’t over-radiate the patient. I didn’t mind running it, but the damn thing was heavy. Christy would have done the same for me, though, so I nodded. “Sure. Just give me the pager before you leave.”
Christy grabbed a lead apron, and then left me to go upstairs. “You’re awesome. I wrote Dana’s history on the requisition sheet. See you later! Get Chase’s number!”
Dana walked slowly from the bathroom, and I gestured for her to sit in a chair beside the table.
“Did your doctor explain this procedure to you?”
Dana shook her head. “Not really.”
A few choice words crossed my mind. How a doctor could send a patient in for a procedure without an explanation was beyond me, and how a patient couldn’t ask wasn’t something I understood, either.
“I’ll take a few X-rays of your abdomen, and then fetch the doctor. I’ll come back, make the table vertical, and you’ll stand and drink that cup of barium,” I said, pointing to the cup behind me on the counter, “a sip at a time, at the doctor’s discretion. He’ll use fluoroscopy to watch the barium travel down your esophagus and into your stomach. Fluoro is basically an X-ray, but instead of a picture, we get a video in real time. When that’s done, we’ll start the small bowel follow-through. You’ll drink the rest of the barium, and we’ll take X-rays as it flows through your small bowel.”
Dana eyed the cup. “Does it taste bad? I’ve been vomiting a lot. I can’t keep anything down.”
The requisition page with Christy’s scribbles was lying on the counter next to the empty cups. I picked it up, looking for the answer to my next question. Dana had only been ill for two days. I glanced up at her, noting her appearance.
“Have you been sick like this before?” She shook her head in answer. “Traveled recently?” She shook her head again. “Any history of Crohn’s disease? Anorexia? Bulimia?” I asked.
She held out her arm, palm up. There was a perfect bite mark in the middle of her forearm. Each tooth had broken the skin. Deep, red perforations dotted her arm in mirrored half-moons, but the bruised skin around the bites was still intact.
I met her eyes. “Dog?”
“A drunk,” she said with a weak laugh. “I was at a party Tuesday night. We had just left, and some asshole wandering around outside just grabbed my arm and took a bite. He might have pulled a whole chunk off if my boyfriend hadn’t hit him. Knocked him out long enough for us to find the car and leave. I saw on the news yesterday that he’d attacked other people, too. It was the same night, and the same apartment complex. Had to be him.” She let her arm fall to her side, seeming exhausted. “Joey’s in the waiting room . . . scared to death I have rabies. He just got back from his last tour in Afghanistan. He’s seen everything, but he can’t stand to hear me throw up.” She laughed quietly to herself.
I offered a comforting smile. “Sounds like a keeper. Just hop up on the table there, and lay on your back.”
Dana did as I asked, but needed assistance. Her bony hands were like ice.
“How much weight did you say you’ve lost?” I asked while situating her on the table, sure I had read Christy’s history report wrong on the requisition.
Dana winced from the cold, hard table pressing against her pelvic bone and spine.
“Blanket?” I asked, already pulling the thick, white cotton from the warmer.
“Please.” Dana hummed as I draped the blanket over her. “Thank you so much. I just can’t seem to get warm.”
“Yes. A lot.”
Dana raised her brows. “Believe me, I know. Especially since I was thin to begin with. You . . . don’t think it’s rabies . . . do you?” She tried to laugh off her remark, but I could hear the worry in her voice.
I smiled. “They don’t send you in for an upper GI if they think it’s rabies.”
Dana sighed and looked at the ceiling. “Thank God.”
Once I positioned Dana, centered the X-ray tube, and set my technique, I pressed the button and then took the film to the reader. My eyes were glued to the monitor, curious if she had a bowel obstruction, or if a foreign body was present.
“Whatcha got there, buddy?” David asked, standing behind me.
“Not sure. She’s lost twenty pounds in two days.”
“Poor kid,” he said, genuine sympathy in his voice.
David watched with me as the image illuminated the screen. When Dana’s abdomen film filled the screen, David and I both stared at it in shock.
David touched his fingers to his mouth. “No way.”
I nodded slowly. “Way.”
David shook his head. “I’ve never seen that. I mean, in a textbook, yes, but . . . man. Bad deal.”
The image on the monitor was hypnotizing. I’d never seen someone present with that gas pattern, either. I couldn’t even remember seeing it in a textbook.
“They’ve been talking a lot on the radio this morning about that virus in Germany. They say it’s spreading all over. It looks like war on the television. People panicking in the streets. Scary stuff.”
I frowned. “I heard that when I dropped off the girls this morning.”
“You don’t think the patient has it, do you? They’re not really saying exactly what it is, but that,” he said, gesturing to the monitor, “is impossible.”
“You know as well as I do that we see new stuff all the time.”
David stared at the image for a few seconds more, and then nodded, snapping out of his deep thought. “Hayes is ready when you are.”
I grabbed a lead apron, slid my arms through the armholes, and then fastened the tie behind my back as I walked to the reading room to fetch Dr. Hayes.
As expected, he was sitting in his chair in front of his monitor in the dark, speaking quietly into his dictation mic. I waited patiently just outside the doorway for him to finish, and then he looked up at me.
“Dana Marks, twenty-three years old, presenting with abdominal pain and significant weight loss since Wednesday. Some hair loss. No history of abdominal disease or heart problems, no previous abdominal surgeries, no previous abdominal exams.”
Dr. Hayes pulled up the image I’d just taken, and squinted his eyes for a moment. “How significant?”
He looked only slightly impressed until the image appeared on the screen. He blanched. “Oh my God.”
“Where has she been?”
“She hasn’t traveled recently, if that’s what you mean. She did mention being attacked by a drunk after a party Tuesday night.”
“This is profound. Do you see the ring of gas here?” he asked, pointing to the screen. His eyes brightened with recognition. “Portal venous gas. Look at the biliary tree outline. Remarkable.” Dr. Hayes went from animated to somber in less than a second. “You don’t see this very often, Scarlet. This patient isn’t going to do well.”
I swallowed back my heartbreak for Dana. She either had a severe infection or something else blocking or restricting the veins in her bowel. Her insides were basically dead and withering away. She might have four more days. They would probably attempt to take her to emergency surgery, but would likely just close her back up. “I know.”
“Who’s her doctor?”
“I’ll call him. Cancel the UGI. She’ll need a CT.”
I nodded and then stood in the hall while Dr. Hayes spoke in a low voice, explaining his findings to Dr. Vance.
“All right. Let’s get to it,” the doctor said, standing from his chair. We both took a moment to separate ourselves from the grim future of the patient. Dr. Hayes followed me down the hall toward the exam room where Dana waited. “The girls doing okay?”
I nodded. “They’re at their dad’s this weekend. They’re going to meet the governor.”
“Oh,” the doctor said, pretending to be impressed. He’d met the governor several times. “My girls are coming home this weekend, too.”
I smiled, glad to hear it. Since Dr. Hayes’s divorce, Miranda and Ashley didn’t come home to visit nearly as much as he would have liked. They were both in college, both in serious relationships, and both mama’s girls. Much to the doctor’s dismay, any free time they had away from boyfriends and studying was usually spent with their mother.
He stopped, took a breath, held the exam-room door open, and then followed me inside. He hadn’t given me time to set up the room before he came back, so I was glad the upper GI was cancelled.
David was shaking the bottles of barium.
“Thanks, David. We won’t be needing those.”
David nodded. Having seen the images before, he already knew why.
I helped Dana to a sitting position, and she stared at both of us, clearly wondering what was going on.
“Dana,” Dr. Hayes began, “you say your problem began early Wednesday morning?”
“Yes,” she said, her voice strained with increasing discomfort.
Dr. Hayes abruptly stopped, and then smiled at Dana, putting his hand on hers. “We’re not going to do the upper GI today. Dr. Vance is going to schedule you a CT instead. We’re going to have you get dressed and go back to the waiting room. They should be calling you before long. Do you have someone with you today?”
“Joey, my boyfriend.”
“Good,” the doctor said, patting her hand.
“Am I going to be okay?” she said, struggling to sit on her bony backside.
Dr. Hayes smiled in the way I imagined him smiling while speaking to his daughters. “We’re going to take good care of you. Don’t worry.”
I helped Dana step to the floor. “Leave your gown on,” I said, quickly grabbing another one and holding it behind her. “Slip this on behind you like a robe.” She slipped her tiny arms through the holes, and then I helped her to the chair beside the cabinet. “Go ahead and put on your shoes. I’ll be right back. Just try to relax.”
“Yep,” Dana said, trying to get comfortable.
I grabbed her requisition off the counter and followed the doctor to the workroom.
As soon as we were out of earshot, Dr. Hayes turned to me. “Try to talk to her some more. See if you can get something else out of her.”
“I can try. All she mentioned out of the ordinary was the bite.”
“You’re sure it wasn’t an animal?”
I shrugged. “She said it was some drunk guy. It looks infected.”
Dr. Hayes looked at Dana’s abnormal gas patterns on the monitor once more. “That’s too bad. She seems like a sweet kid.”
I nodded, somber. David and I traded glances, and then I took a breath, mentally preparing myself to carry such a heavy secret back into that room. Keeping her own death from her felt like a betrayal, even though we’d only just met.
My sneakers made a ripping noise as they pulled away from the floor. “Ready?” I asked with a bright smile.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Let me start off by saying that I don't read Zombie books. I don't read Apocalyptic books. BUT, I was blown away by Red Hill. How is that possible you ask? Well, this book wasn't about Zombies for me. Yes, there are Zombies in the book, but for me, it was more about the people, their survival. Page after page, I was consumed by this story. I truly feel like Red Hill is about this group's journey, but I did connect with a few of the characters more than others. Scarlet was one of those characters for me. I felt that her voice was the strongest throughout the book. And as a mother, I could relate to her endless search for her children. She never gave up hope and she was determined to survive for them. Scarlet is one tough chick. I want to be like her when I grow up. Nathan probably touched my heart the most. His marriage has been in trouble for years and in a lot of ways, he's been a single parent. Nathan's devotion to his daughter was heartwarming. But, Nathan is also a tough guy in his own way. He will do whatever it takes to get his daughter to safety. I loved Nathan from the moment I met him. While these two characters made the most impact on me, I still felt like I was involved in the other characters lives too. Some of them made me laugh, some made me want to scream. One thing was certain though, their stories were interwoven brilliantly. There is something I feel that I need to advise. While there is a romantic element to this story, it is not the focus. So, if you're going into this book looking for romance, you may be disappointed. The best advice I can give is to be prepared to let the book take you on the ride. See where it takes you. Overall, I loved this book. Honestly, I never expected to become so involved in the story. And I have to say, Thank you, Jamie McGuire, for not romanticizing the Zombie. I also appreciated the fact that McGuire portrays humanity in a very realistic light. People will do ugly, violent things when they feel their lives are threatened and some...take advantage of that vulnerability. Red Hill read like a movie for me. Meaning, the story flows so seamlessly and vividly that you feel as though you can see the story unfold. I'm so glad I gave this book a chance and I recommend that you do too! Quotes: I normally include quotes at the end of my reviews, but I have to say that I was 3/4 through the book before I realized that I forgot to mark key quotes! That should give you an idea about how involved in the story I became.
I absolutely loved this book, it was so scary because it seemed so real and possible! The characters were fantastic and even though you may night like the decisions they made you understood why they did what they did. It makes me wonder what I (and my family) would ever do in such a situation.
Spoilers Possible Ahead: The book starts each chapter off with a different character and their group’s perspective. A horrible virus has come from overseas and is spreading like wildfire. You follow Scarlet, Nathan, Miranda, and Joey in their quest to escape to safety and locate loved ones. Each character is very well written and I felt as those I knew them all. The writer did an awesome job of making me feel for them and be a part of the story. The descriptions of the devastation and building of fear were right on. I couldn’t put this book down. I’m not a huge zombie fan, but have read a few books and I do love the show The Walking Dead. This book felt like I was watching the Walking Dead. How the family units functioned and new families formed and how their emotions played out while life went on. The closer I came to the end of the book I began to wonder if this was the start of a series. From what I can tell it’s not. I was shocked by Joey and Coop’s death and the arrival of Scarlet’s children. I was more than a little disappointed when the army showed up and were rebuilding. I was hoping for an impossible recovery and a series. But this was my only complaint; I didn’t want this great story to finish. If you like The Walking Dead, read this. If you enjoy a good adult romance amidst the crash of civilization, read this. I’m definitely going to read more from this author. Being the page turner this book was, I read it in one day and it has earned a spot on my keeper shelf.
Red Hill gears away from romantic love story and focuses on the theme of survival as a zombie apocalypse takes over the world. The book is told in three different points of view. Nathan is an unloving marriage but has his daughter Zoe who keeps him grounded. His cold wife leaves Nathan and Zoe the day the world came to an end and zombies roamed the Earth. Scarlett is a divorcee headstrong mother who will do anything and everything to keep her two girls safe. Miranda is a tough and opinionated teenager who is struggling to get her boyfriend Bryce, sister Ashley, and Ashley’s boyfriend Cooper to her father’s ranch, Red Hill in one piece. A deadly “outbreak” has taken the nation by storm. As the virus spreads fear and panic is in the air as the characters try to find a safe haven. McGuire creatively twines the characters together and we see how their journey is connected. She gives vivid details of the characters background story and how they evolve with the zombies roaming the streets. Old and new relationships are tested as survival out weighs all other emotions. McGuire is an extremely talented writer as she takes you along for the eerie and realistic journey of survival. From the beginning to end you will find yourself completely sucked into the chaotic world the characters are faced with. The ending is bittersweet with the loss of major characters but it will invoke tears, laughter, love, loss, and suspense. After reading Red Hill you will become a firm believer that a zombie apocalypse can come true.
I wasn't sure if i would like this book, but once i read a few pages I was hooked! This is a must read. Highly recommend
This book is a page turner. Once you start you will not want to put it down. The action starts from the very beginning and does not stop until the very end.
This was a very satisfying take on the end of the world, and the premise was quite believable. I couldn't put it down. I rarely rate anything 5 stars, but this book was that good!
Have you ever read something that you expected to hate? Then ended up loving. Well I have.... The thought of Zombies just had me cringing but I had to give this book a shot. Especially since Jamie Mcguire is my favorite author. Boy am I glad I did. This book doesn't grab you from page one it grabs you from the first sentence. I couldn't even form words on how I felt because I hate the ending and loved it all at once. The book was perfect and anyone thinking they are going to hate this book. Just give it a chance. It was worth the 7.99. I would spend that amount twice. Just go buy this book!!!
All Jamie Mcguires books are great!!
While Red Hill is far from Beautiful Disaster, Jamie McGuire still writes a great book. Fast paced, on the edge of your seat thrilling book. As a mom myself, I identified with with main character and her struggles. If you are looking for the romance of Beautiful Disaster this book contains hints of that, but if you are a post apocolyptic junkie who loves zombie books this one is for you!
Red Hill is one of those books that I simply could not put down. As a normal day in the lives of Scarlet, Miranda and Nathan turn into the end of the world as they know it, they all head for what they believe would be safety. For Scarlet, as well as Miranda her sister, and their boyfriends, this means Red Hill ranch. For Nathan it means anywhere he can keep his daughter, Zoe, safe. In the end the fates of all these people entwine. This book captivated me in a way few books do. Apart from the riveting action and heartbreaking tragedy, the romantic experiences of all the key characters are skillfully woven into the story. As zombie movies and literature are their only reference as to how to deal with a zombie apocalypse, it was interesting to see how they coped with the crisis. Said movies and literature could, however, never prepare them for the reality and true horror of such an outbreak. The characters in this book are so realistic, they could be people that one meets in everyday life. From determined Scarlet and protective Nathan, to the extremely sensitive Ashley, and Miranda with her strong leadership qualities, these characters found a place in my heart. Scarlet, the typical mother, while fearing for her daughters, tries to believe that they will be safe, and protects all the young people fiercely. Nathan, also very protective, lives to see his daughter, Zoe, safe and contented; not an easy task as Zoe does not seem to be a normal child. Miranda is a born leader and takes charge even though she is the younger of the two Hayes girls. When Kevin, the child molester, arrives with a girl, all these people deal with him in an appropriate way. All the time they hope and, in some cases, believe that unexpected survivors will arrive. A wonderful tale of fear and survival, loss and faith and, ultimately, love, I would recommend Red Hill as a must read. The tender hearted may, however, want to keep the Kleenex close by. (Ellen Fritz)
From many viewpoints, Jamie McGuire tells the story of a world after an outbreak hits. Survivors must make their way to safety and for many to the farm house otherwise known as Red Hill. There are many characters that we are introduced to. Scarlett who ends up separated from her children turns into Mommy Zombie (or Teds as they end up being called) Killer. Her instincts kick in and she fights her way to the farm house and decides that she will wait for her children to show, because they will, she knows it. As she sets up shop, the people start coming. Nathan is able to grab his daughter and make it to his brother-in-law’s house and eventually he also makes it to the farmhouse where he plays a key part in Scarlett’s life. Also traveling is sisters Miranda and Ashley with their boyfriends Bryce and Cooper and a hitchhiker ex-military man, Joey. All the characters work well together but since they are not fully fleshed out there are times that it was hard to connect with them. Even though there wasn’t a strong connection between reader and characters it didn’t stop me from feeling their heartache at times. This was definitely a light dystopian read and perfect for young adults just getting into this genre. The audiobook was perfectly narrated by Emma Galvin, Zackary Webber and January LaVoy. It was nice to have the different viewpoints narrated by a different person making it easier to remember which character was talking. The tale was there and minus the holes in the story where I wanted a bit more this proved to be an entertaining read.
What starts out as separate stories quickly becomes intertwined before your very eyes. We follow Scarlet as she scours cities looking for her daughters, Miranda and her sister as they head off for the sanctuary of their father's house, Nathan as he tries to find a safe haven for him and his young daughter, Zoe. Soon more and more people are thrown into the chaos and life is played out in front of us. A new life full of monsters that were once believed to exist only in Hollywood: Zombies. No one is safe and no is immune to the destruction at the hands of these flesh eaters. ** I know the world ended on a Friday. It was the last day I saw my children. ** The moment I realized the first intertwining of these people I literally gasped. It wasn't something I was expecting at all. I was telling myself that we would just hear these stories and how the ZomApoc affected them, not how they would all merge into one. Yeah, I didn't read the blurb. (Big surprise.) I guess if I did I would have known it was going to happen. I did however know that RED HILL focused on zombies and that was all I needed to know. That and the fact that McGuire wrote it. I knew I would be in good hands since she was the one behind the pen. Or computer. Whatever. I knew I was going to be okay. And I was. ** Everyone seemed to be suffocating. We were surviving, but every passing day felt less like living. ** The story was great and had me eagerly reading until I couldn't read any more. I devoured it when I could and hated putting it down. I enjoyed seeing the relationships that formed throughout the story. People who never would have come together before the end of life as they knew it, found their home in one another. But the sad thing is the saying goodbye to those that wouldn’t make it. That was heartbreaking. Some of those people you quietly prayed that McGuire wouldn’t end or give them a little longer. But in a ZomApoc, there isn’t any 2nd chances and life happens whether you want it to or not. That is just the way it goes. But I absolutely recommend it to all those loving a great zombie read. It was perfect and I am happy with how it ended. Maybe a little sad. But like I mentioned earlier...no one is safe. No one. 5 Fleshy Stars!
I guess I should start off by saying that I was really skeptical and nervous to pick up this book. I think I debated for months on whether or not I would actually read it. I’m not big into zombies or that apocalypse theme – it’s just never interested me. However, I truly enjoyed Red Hill. While there are zombies and the mass destruction, I didn’t feel like it was the overall main focus of the story. Now if you’re looking for a lot of man-eating gore, I’m sure you won’t feel the same. However, this seemed to be the perfect amount for my tastes. The story is told from three different viewpoints – Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda. Each have their redeeming qualities as well as their “drive me crazy” traits. You’ll certainly be applauding characters one minute and wanting to scream at them the next! What I probably loved most about this book is how seamlessly their stories seemed to intertwine. I loved that we’d be introduced to a scene, and then have it referenced in another character’s point of view later on, or meet a character to then have a mysterious connection to someone else who comes into the picture. It was a fascinating puzzle that kept you want to reading more and more. I was also incredibly invested in the secondary characters as well. Jamie McGuire writes in such a way that you just want more of them. I wanted to be inside their heads and learn the stories of their lives. If I had to come up with a complaint, it would really be that I didn’t get enough of these other members of the story. Overall, I was impressed with how a different genre could really hold my interests, especially after loving Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster so much. While the synopsis describes a virus and end of the world, Red Hill was so much more than that. It was a tale of survival and camaraderie and relationships. It was about learning how to adapt to physical, emotional, and mental changes – and not giving up hope when all seems lost. It kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what was going to happen next because it was just so enthralling. I also loved the ending. While it wasn’t your perfect happily ever after, it worked for me given the premise of the book. Five wonderful stars and a definite recommendation for other readers!
Another great book from a great author, i couldnt put this book down, it had so much action, drama, was a great story.
If you had asked me a month ago if I’d ever consider reading a zombie apocalypse novel I’d have laughed at the thought, I mean I don’t even watch The Walking Dead because I get scared too easily LOL. BUT seeing as how I loved Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster series and I just HAD to have more of her writing I decided to give her newest novel a go. I knew going in I might not like it as I’m not much of a “Zombie Apocalypse” person but from the very beginning this story pulled me in. Red Hill is told from three separate POV’s and I really loved it. I laughed, I cried, I hid under the covers! It was such a fun read :) “Viral outbreak. The infected are attacking and biting people. They said cadavers this morning. What do you think it is, Ash? Herpes?” I really enjoyed most of the characters in this novel. I did have an issue with some of the characters behaviors at times and I’m a little sad that some of the casualties happened the way they did but hey its the zombie apocalypse not everyone’s gonna make it! I really think Joey was my favorite character even though we didn’t see from his POV he’s a character I really became attached to in the book. All in all I really loved this book and I’m a total Jamie McGuire fan for life! #MacPack! I highly recommend this book to everyone even if you aren’t a fan of zombies or as Zoe called them “Ted’s” it was a fast paced read that pulled me in right from the get go I couldn’t put it down! Rating: 4/5 Stars
First off, I must say that this is NOT what I normally read. But Jamie issued a challenges to her MacPack and I accepted! If anyone came make me step out of my book comfort zone, it's her. Holy freaking amazeballs!! I couldn't put t down!! It wasn't overly gory which was a huge plus for me. It was a real page turner! I couldn't stop. 24 hrs later I was done. It was simply, amazing.
Best Zombie Book For Women! Loves the characters and how their storied entwined. Jamie brought me into a world that Had me biting my nails one minute then bawling the next. You won't be disappointed with this book.
Red Hill by Jamie McGuire is a post-apocalyptic novel reminiscent of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The first scene takes place in a hospital where the ER is overcrowded with patients having bizarre, unexplainable symptoms. Each scene after is told in the perspective of one of the three main characters, with each chapter alternating viewpoints. The story has a neat ending that ties up all the strings and there are flashbacks in which a character realizes the point earlier in the story when they’d crossed paths with another character that they don’t meet until later in the story. I know this sounds confusing but it’s really not. The story flows along really nicely and the characters are very well developed. The main characters are motivated by love and the things that they will do to survive or to help each other to survive. Certain points in the story I was so engrossed that I felt like I was a part of the story. I felt the fear, pain and loss experienced by the characters. Scarlet was such a strong character, a determined mother who is willing to risk everything to save her daughters. Nathan is the father who sacrifices everything for his daughter Zoe. Miranda is the college student who is fearless and reckless in bringing her sister home to the safety of her father’s home at Red Hill ranch. It is here at Red Hill where lives collide and the power of love and sacrifice is most felt and witnessed. I read this book in a day – during lunch break, after work and had to stay up to finish it that night. It is a definite page turner.
I found the whole theme interesting but some of the character a bit disturbing the mother for one. Man that women was all about herself and the quest to find her children at the expense of all the other characters. I feel that she just killed them all and was content with new man in her life and that she got her two girls back. Don't get me wrong Jamie McGuire is a wonderful author and I have enjoyed her Beautiful series. This didn't work for me.