Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Chuckles Retro Reads: Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux


Allison Hewitt is trapped. In the storeroom of Brookes & Peabody's. In a world swarming with the Undead, the Doomed, the Infected.

Locked away with an oddball collection of colleagues and under siege, Allison takes advantage of a surviving internet connection and blogs. She writes, as the food runs out and panic sets in, as relationships develop and friends die, and as zombies claw at the door, all in the hope of connecting with other survivors out there. But as she reads the replies to her posts, Allison begins to comprehend the horrifying scale of the damage. And when no one comes to the group's rescue, they are forced to leave the safety of their room and risk a journey across the city; streets that crawl with zombies, and worse - fellow humans competing for survival.


My Review: 
Allison and her work colleagues are trapped in the staff area of the bookstore that they work in. Supplies are dwindling, the dead are all around them and conditions are unhygenic. Do they stay and hope for help that might never come or do they move to the apartments above the store? Do they try to get to a refuge centre? Every decision could cost lives and Allison finds solace in writing her blog and connecting with other survivors.

I didn't think I was going to like this one but I was pleasantly surprised. I love zombie books but a lot of the ones I have read over the last year have failed to deliver. There was a lot to like about this book. Allison is a good heroine. She is normal and does not have superhuman abilities. Some of her ideas about raiding the shop for supplies and exploring the apartments are good, and she is certainly brave, volunteering to do dangerous things for the good of everyone. She grows as a character through the book and makes mistakes and shows poor judgement, just like any person in extreme circumstances would do. Even when she crosses moral lines, I felt myself rooting for her so I'm not sure what that says about me as a person!

I loved the mixture of side characters who irritate you one minute and make you like them the next. Ted was an interesting character who I wanted to hug or slap at regular intervals. Holly I very much liked. The dog was my favourite though!

I thought the whole story was going to be Allison and her friends being stuck in the store with her blogging about stupid things. It was not like that at all. I actually liked the way the blog posts and contact with other survivors was introduced at the end of each chapter. I thought I was going to hate the blog element but I actually thought it added some realism to the story. The plot itself developed to show the group facing different challenges at several locations, meeting good and bad people and struggling to survive. This kept things interesting as you never quite knew what was coming next.

My big niggle was the inevitable love story leading to the dreaded love triangle. I just never felt any chemistry between Allison and her new love. It never felt real or believable. It was like we were being told that they fell in love but we don't really see it or connect with it so it flopped for me. Bringing in the triangle part just made it worse and it was the low point of the novel. That said, the love story did not dominate the plot or get in the way of the many dangerous action sequences that we got so overall I was pretty happy.

Some of the later messes that Allison got into were a bit unbelievable but to be honest, I didn't care because I did find it entertaining and that is the important thing in a zombie novel. Realism can happily fly out of the window if the zombie action is good. So overall I found this to be an interesting and fun zombie novel where I did want to know what happened next.  
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

8 comments:

  1. I've almost bought this book a dozen times on Book Outlet. Now that I see you loved it, I think I'll have to grab it as well.

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    1. It was better than I thought it would be. The love triangle thing comes late in the book so it certainly doesn't dominate though it was a bit dumb!

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    2. They probably just threw it in for good measure as so many YA books seems to have them.

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    3. It's so annoying when they do that!

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  2. Wth zombie books, I set aside the believable. LOL Not crazy about love triangles either, but you mention it's not a focal point, so I might try this one.

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    1. Yeah you know it hate love triangles but this was only a minor annoyance really.

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  3. I love the idea of them being trapped and having to somehow find a way out of it. The blogging angle sounds like it worked surprisingly well too. Glad this one was mostly good! Love triangles- yeah *sigh* who's got time for love when the zombs are on your tail? Oh well... :)

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    1. The blogging bit came at the end of each chapter which was actually quite good fun. I don't like books set out like that if the blog element dominates but this was done nicely. Yeah the dreaded love triangle...it could've been a lot worse!

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