I know that Halloween is over but it’s November, it’s an awkward cross-over between Halloween and Christmas so one day you can dress up in an elf outfit, the next day you’re making spooky cookies…who cares?! In the spirit of that, I read Red Hill by Jamie Mcguire.
Anyone who lives near me will only relate the name of this book to a town that you always seem to end up in if you take the train a lot, but this is not about THAT Redhill. This is about a classic zombie apocalypse that takes over middle-America (and eventually the world…of course) and forces 3 separate groups to end up at the same ranch; Red Hill.
I was really enjoying this book and found it the right amount of gory and creepy UNTIL it got to the reason the apocalypse happened…people who had received the most recent flu vaccine were becoming infected with this zombie virus…anybody who has been following the news about COVID-19 will also agree that this hits too close to home, I’m sorry, I’m not making fun of COVID-19 but this story-line was just way too close!
We follow Scarlet, who is looking for her daughters within the madness as she got split up from them working at a hospital when they got picked up from school by their dad (Scarlet’s ex-husband), Scarlet then remembers that the girls know about the old ranch she used to clean in her uni days and gets there hoping to meet them there.
There’s also Nathan and Zoe, a father and daughter who ran away from their town as it got overrun and found themselves at Red Hill when looking for a safe place to hide. Nathan and Zoe are an interesting pair, Nathan is a doting father and constantly looking out for Zoe who is hinted to have Autism or Aspergers, this means she doesn't seem that fazed by zombies or the fact that her mother has disappeared but struggles to understand why her normal routine; like going to school and doing her homework has gone out the window.
And finally, we have Miranda, Bryce, Cooper, and Ashley, a group of friends who were setting out on a weekend trip together when the whole world fell apart, they decided the best place to hold out is Red Hill as Miranda and Ashley’s dad owns the ranch so they can meet him there and survive as a family!
Obviously, things don't go according to plan and this unlikely group of survivors ends up together.
I was really impressed by how different this one was to the “normal” zombie book, there actually wasn’t too much killing of humans and zombies, and (don’t worry I won't spoil it) you begin with a group of at least 10 and there's still over half left at the end! Anyone who’s into zombie books/tv shows like me knows that it's very rare for more than one or two people to make it out by the end so I enjoyed the wholesomeness of that!
If you can’t quite bear to let go of Halloween just yet, or you want to inject (sorry) a bit of horror into your Christmas period then maybe have a read of Red Hill, its got the perfect amount of horror, suspense, romance and goodness that we might all need as a distraction right now.