Monday, October 27, 2014

Love and Decay, Volume 1: Season 1 (Episodes 1-6) by Rachel Higginson

   The world used to be a normal place.  People lined up at the local coffee shops for their morning caffeine boost, while chatting or texting on their cell phones.  Reagan Willow was in high school, going to cheer practice while her nearly perfect boyfriend was the star football player on the team.  It was normal, nice even.  Now, two years later, Reagan and her best friend Haley were trying to make it the best that they know how.  They were living like homeless vagabonds, sleeping in abandoned places back-to-back so as to not be caught unaware by the flesh eaters roaming pretty much everywhere now.  It was the zombie apocalypse, and all because someone cured herpes.  The cure turned out to be the end of the world.  No more electricity, and no more fast food.  In fact, the two of them would go days at a time without eating and just hoped they would get through the night and then the next day.  One day they got into a situation that looked bad until the Parker family showed up.  The brothers get them out of harm's way and take them home where they meet Page, the little sister.  This is a very close family determined to survive this apocalypse together.  Not only do they survive, but they actually live.  Haley and Reagan had little hope of anything other than survival until they are grafted into the Parker family.  Women were in short supply these days so it was dangerous for them even traveling with a bunch of survivalists like the brothers.  These guys were armed to the teeth and had food!  The girls find much more than a measure of security with them.  Two of the brothers are interested in Reagan and one was interested in Haley.  They were all gentlemen who would never press a woman to do something she didn't want to.  Haley finds it easier to fall for Nelson, but Reagan fights it and is determined to not fall in love so her heart won't be broken when he gets killed by a zombie.  She felt like it was just impossible to find that kind of happiness in this kind of life.  But Hendrix is determined to show her otherwise.

   Wow.  I am stuck on this series now!  I love the occasional zombie apocalypse book, but this one could possibly beat all others.  I love the complexity of everything.  There are no modern conveniences anymore and everyone has basically been plunged back into the stone age.  There are still a few running vehicles and some gas, but for the most part Haley and Reagan are walking to South America where Reagan had a family member last she heard of.  It could be a much safer place for them, if they can get there in one piece.
   The Parkers are unlike anything the girls had yet to see in this dark and depressing world.  They lived with honor and love for their family.  They respected others.  And they protect those they love.  Falling in love with a zombie apocalypse going on turns out to be a challenge.  Haley can only fight her love for Nelson for so long.  But Reagan is unwilling to really let her heart go.  In fact, I don't think she ever really lets it go all of the way during this entire book.  It seems that she just can't yet.  She cares for Vaughan, and even more for Hendrix, but love is not yet in her vocabulary.  With the fact that any one of them could die at any moment, it keeps her heart in check.  This is painfully obvious when little eight-year-old Page becomes ill and most of them are captured by a colony of people who keep women like possessions.  Even after escaping one predicament, it seems like they just fall into another.  One has to ask themselves, is there ever any kind of peace in a world like this?
   A fantastic book!  Definitely 5 out of 5 stars!

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