In twelve weeks, seventeen-year-old Paul Ledger will be dead. At least he hopes so.
Paul is trapped in the worst cult the United States has ever seen. Infected with a zombie virus, symptoms culminate in a dead body but thriving mind over a course of twelve weeks. If he doesn’t earn the final death he longs for, he’ll be chained in a basement facility, moaning for human flesh for eternity. Sent out to kidnap girls for food, toys, or whatever the boss wants, Paul nabs Heather McCain. He’s not a fan of humans as a general rule, but even his graying skin and insatiable hunger for her flesh don’t stop her from reaching out to him. Give him the second chance he doesn’t know he needs. Overcome by his cravings, Paul bites her delectable skin. Amazingly, she doesn’t develop the zombie-like side effects. When the boss discovers Heather’s immunity, he gives Paul an ultimatum – deliver up Heather and her family to continue the research or watch as Paul’s brother suffers the zombie fate. Paul has a chance to endure his short zombie existence knowing his brother is safe. But he’ll have to sacrifice Heather to do it.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book when I read the blurb. With the exception of The Walking Dead and a few of the old school George Romero movies zombies tend to come accross kind of corny to me. This was not the case with this book. The zombies are still zombies, and some are even the mindless “brains, meat, blood” with no other functionality kind. Paul is the exception it seems. Even with the virus running rampant in his body he’s able to keep his wits about him. He falls for Heather, a girl he had been sent out to kidnap, and unwittingly discovers she’s immune to the virus. They are chased by the boss when they head for safety. There’s plenty of action and a few edge of your seat moments that keep you guessing about what’s going to happen next. I loved the writing style and the depth of the characters in this book. This book, book one in the Barely Alive series, ended perfectly with a great cliffhanger that will leave you begging for book two.
Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities, (‘cause zombies are so plausible, right?) to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Please travel with her to the other side where Happy-Ever-Afters are real, the journey is just harder.
Goodreads: Bonnie R. Paulson
Barnes and Noble links