Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming

Until the End of the World 
(Book #1 in the Until the End of the World Series)
By Sarah Lyons Fleming

Cassie Forrest isn't surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too. 

This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of. 

Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies. 

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads.
This review was originally posted on The Bookie Monster.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

I have a confession: this is the first zombie apocalypse book I have read that was written by a female. Yes, I am hanging my head in shame. In my defense, this genre has a lot more male authors than female authors. With that said, it seems more female authors are joining in on the zombie fun. If Sarah Lyons Fleming's Until the End of the World  is an example of what a female perspective can bring to this genre, I hope to see more women authors' names on zombie apocalypse book covers.

Until the End of the World gets a five star rating from me. Why? Let me start with the characters. Fleming does an amazing job creating characters that are believable and fun. The main character, Cassie Forrest, is downright likable. She's a little nerdy, clumsy, and insecure. At the same time, she is tough, resourceful, and fiercely loyal. I connected with this character almost immediately. The other main characters are also enjoyable, especially Nelly who is one of Cassie's best friends. The way they banter back and forth is endearing and made me laugh out loud at times.

Then there is the story itself. Obviously, I like zombie fiction, so that aspect is a given. There is more to the story than flesh-eating undead people and all the problems that come with them. It is also about friendship, relationships, grief, and forgiveness. I was a little worried the story would be too sweet and sappy for me since there are some "love connections" being made during this particular zombie apocalypse. Turns out I didn't need to worry about the story becoming a romance novel as there is not too much emphasis on romance. There is enough tension and action in the story to balance out the relational side.

As I was reading, I wondered if I would enjoy the book as much as I did if I were a man. Since I am not one, I can't answer that on a personal level. I have to assume it would appeal to some men and not to others, just like any book appeals to some-- regardless of gender-- and not others.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes zombie fiction, post-apocalypse stories, "bug out" scenarios, and/or wants a fun story to get lost in for a while.

Purchase Until the End of the World.

About the Author (In her own words)

I'm a Laura Ingalls devotee, wannabe prepper and lover of anything pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic--or anything in between. Add in lots of humor and some romance, and I'm in heaven.
Besides an unhealthy obsession with home-canned food and Bug Out Bag equipment, I love books and making artsy stuff. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I now live in Oregon with my family and, in my opinion, not nearly enough supplies for the zombie apocalypse. But I'm working on it.

Sarah Lyons Fleming's website
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