This is a story of love...and zombies.
When eighteen-year-old college freshman Christian discovers his dormitory is crawling with the living dead, he knows he has a problem. But once he learns the whole country is overrun by the flesh-eating horde, he must race to protect what matters to him most. Sixteen-year-old Iris, the girl he loves, is stranded eighty miles away, alone and completely unaware of the gruesome threat surrounding her. Christian's plan is to evade the zombies, drive the distance to rescue Iris, and get them both to his family farm-where there are guns, fuel, and everything else they'll need to survive. His mission seems simple: Get the girl, get to the farm, and stay alive.
Things get complicated when Christian is forced to make an unthinkable choice between Iris and his family. Someone he loves must die, and he must decide.
"One of my absolutely favourite books ever! [Undying] was heartbreaking, shocking and yet still hopeful throughout...5 Stars and a definite recommended read." -OldVictorianQuill
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.42(d)|
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Valerie Grosjean's love for zombie movies shines through every page of this novel. Its hero, Christian, often reflects it: "A current of electricity ran down my spine. I could feel someone back there, undead, ready to spring when I approached. In a horror movie, that was exactly what would happen. A zombie would emerge and attack just as I passed its hiding place, cued by a sudden, loud burst in the creepy background music. Depending on whether I was the hero or just an expendable extra, I would either make a narrow escape or be eaten in a gory, detailed close-up." ************* "I could envision some less mechanically inclined mortal stopping at a gas station, just like she'd seen in the movies: She pulls in next to the pump. Stepping out of her car, she walks around to the tank and twists off the gas cap. The she removes the nozzle, sticks it in the tank, and raises the lever to start filling. When nothing happens, she realizes it's not going to work. The pump display is dead, but in desperation, she repeatedly pounds the unresponsive buttons on the lifeless unit and squeezes the handle on the gas nozzle again and again. Finally, she's surrounded by a ravenous hoard of zombies. Shaking her fist in the air as a final gesture, she yells into the heavens, "...but it worked in the movies. Curse you, Hollywood!" She continues to shake her fist until a zombie rips it off. Blood and screams fade to black. I really hoped that wasn't Iris right now." Undying is a fast-paced, adrenalin-infused read. Just like the apparent virus that has caused the epidemic, everything escalates quickly for Christian in the novel, and the reader is left hanging on for dear life as the story hurtles along. I'm not a huge fan of zombie culture--I've only read or seen a small sample of what's out there--but this story definitely kept my attention. It doesn't have an HEA, but instead ends on an "okay for now" note. (Two more books are coming--Infecting and Relieving.) Romance is definitely a small side note here--Christian is understandably concerned with survival and getting to those he loves, both romantically and in a filial way. He has varying degrees of success with those goals. Since we see everything from Christian's POV and since it took him a while to figure things out with is almost no information coming in from the outside, we don't really find out too much about the cause of the zombie infestation. We hear a little about its probable spread, and the rest we learn with Christian, through trial and error. It can be assumed that more will be revealed in later series installments. In the meantime, don't read this--especially the beginning scenes--in a time and place where staying quiet is a necessity. The opening half of the novel in particular caused many a noisy outburst on my part--shocked laughter, horrified squeals, and much yelling at poor Christian--that had my current companion (my mother's cat--I was cat sitting at the time) worrying more than usual about my state of mind. Don't say I didn't warn you. Oh, and you might want to consider sticking to bottled water. I'm just saying. Rating: C+ and 3 1/2 (very entertaining) stars I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
You hear that spluttering and insane rambling and giddy squealing? That is me expressing my love for this book! Wow! What a thrilling read! One of my absolutely favourite books ever! This was my first forage into the world of Zombie apocalypses, because whilst the idea had always intrigued me, I always worried that I would be disappointed by what I encountered. I don’t mind the blood and guts in these apocalyptic stories, but I knew that I needed something else that would really make me connect to the book. Valerie Grosjean did that to perfection. I needed to see the way that faith and desperation to protect loved ones helped the survivors continue to fight through their worst nightmare, I needed to see what made those not yet infected fight to keep each other safe, and to keep hope that they could survive this, and I wanted to see how such a dangerous situation, so scary, so life-threatening could turn people against each other, as escaping the apocalypse with their lives becomes the most important thing. This book tied all these desires up with a nice little blood-thirsty bow, and I was in awe of the story long after I finished it, eagerly awaiting the second book in the series to know what happened to the characters I had connected to so deeply, as though I was depending on to help protect my own life. Christian was an absolutely wonderful hero. I really enjoyed reading this story from a male perspective, as it made it clearer that whilst men put on an outward facade of strength and certainty, the fear still crawls inside them. It broke my heart when he was left to travel alone, having lost his roommate to the zombies after a bloody fight, and how his guilt piled up at not being able to save any of the other uninfected dorm members. I really loved his determination to get to his family, his strength and utter desperation to save his family although he couldn’t save his friends. The romance was beautifully entwined throughout this novel, and Iris became my favourite character. She was mature beyond her years, yet still held the youthful charm and hope that really struck with me. I wished throughout the book that Christian’s feelings for her would be reciprocated, and growled with Christian when he discovered that Iris was held up in the house of her high-school crush. I couldn’t help but laugh though as it gave some light relief to the terror and suspense of the story as we see that even in a Zombie apocalypse, little bits teenage angst still ran-through, like ‘what if she liked this guy more than me?’ This is an absolute gem of a story, and I adored reading Christian and Iris’ journey, and what they did to sacrifice themselves for those they love. It was heartbreaking, shocking and yet still hopeful throughout, with the end leaving me hanging with a squeal, excited thump of my heart, and immediate research into when the next book was to be released. 5 Stars and a definite recommended read. Even if you don’t think the Zombie apocalypse story is your sort of thing, I really think that this book will appeal to all romance lovers.