Sunday, December 3, 2017

Plague Land

Plague Land by Alex Scarrow
Sourcebooks: 12/5/17
eBook review copy; 384 pages
ISBN-13:  9781492652106
ReMade YA Series #1

Plague Land by Alex Scarrow is a highly recommended YA horror thriller that was previously published under the title ReMade.

Leon and his younger sister Grace have recently moved to London, England, from NYC after their parent's divorce. Leon is struggling to fit in at his new school when he begins to notice short news blurbs about a plague spreading in Africa. No one seems to worried, but Leon is becoming alarmed. The plague is unlike any other seen and seems to be spreading at an unbelievable rate, killing everything in its path. Leon's decision to answer a phone call from his father is fortuitous, as his father tells them all to leave London, ASAP. This advice may have saved them because it got Leon, Grace, and their mother out of London, just as the plague was hitting there. However, once they witness up close victims of the plague liquefying, they realize that there might not be a safe place anywhere anymore.

Plague Land is, without a doubt, the start of a new YA series. It is an engrossing, basically fast-paced horror novel that should capture the attention of the YA crowd, although it's probably best suited for older/mature teens. There are a few slower parts to the story, but they tend to be developing the structure of the post-plague society. Interspersed in the novel are short chapters told from the point of view of the virus/plague, that hint at further developments along that line in future installments. This is a plague that works as a collective and can formulate a plan.

The writing is good, but I suspect that won't matter to most of the readers of this sci-fi-horror-thriller. The characters are nicely developed for the first book in the series. Scarrow has left readers several scenes that point to many different directions that the story can take in future installments - and I imagine that there will likely be more than one or two. Mature YA readers of horror will likely embrace this new series. (It did hold my attention, but as a decidedly adult reader perhaps not enough to read the next installment.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.

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