by Jade C. Jamison
Kill or Die
Nina Hardwick has had a rough life since leaving high school, but inside she is still the girl looking for a silver lining. The past several years have left their toll on her psyche, and just as she feels like she’s climbing out of a deep abyss, her life and the lives of millions of others fall into shambles as a virus overtakes the country and leaves a plague of undead armies scouring the land.
In a desperate attempt to get away from the infected, Nina and some neighbors speed out of town, nearly killing a man on a motorcycle. When they stop to rescue him, Nina realizes that he is the one man from her past she never got over, the guy who should have been her high school sweetheart until she messed it up. But this unrequited love, Kevin Savage, says he doesn’t even remember her. Or does he?
Nina, Kevin, and her neighbors head to the wilderness and fight to survive not only the plague but also hunger, cold, their inner demons…and even each other. Will they survive and, more importantly, will her heart?
"Savage is a stunning portrayal of survival, strength, love and hope in a world ravaged by disease and pain. A thought-provoking and thrilling read that leaves a profound and lasting impact. Absolutely Brilliant." Kelly, Perusing Princesses.
If you look at history, you can see the perseverance of the human spirit. Even when we should have given up, we didn't. We're persistent. Stubborn. Maybe even a little thick in the head. But we're survivors. It's what we do.
Savage tells the tale of Nina Hardwick and Kevin Savage, two kids who fondled and floundered through their teenage years, getting by as 'friends with feelings', only then to stumble at the last hurdle. A boulevard of broken dreams and shattered hearts as each went their separate ways and sought out a new path. Nina's lead to college followed shortly by a steady relationship, pregnancy and marriage to a man who was then tragically struck later on with MS. Her life was one of long hours and financial hardships but never did she forget the boy with the red hair and green eyes that first stole her heart.
Larry and Vera are the friendly neighbours who share an occasional chit chat over the fence, but when the news of an 'undeadly' virus turns epidemic, America goes into crisis mode, the time has come to leave behind Winchester and head up North near Chipeta Springs to check on Nina's elderly aunt after a very worrying phone call.
With her car blocked in the driveway it is her trusty neighbours who lend a helping hand and give Nina the ride she needs. With gas running low and looters and infected running riot the journey is challenging, especially when in the confusion, Larry hits a man off his motorcycle. Nina is shocked to see the face that has haunted her dreams over the years, and even though the death of her Ill fated Husband is still fresh in her heart, Kevin Savage is a welcome presence in a world literally turned to shit.
Nina is saddened by her Aunt's sudden death, but with the truck on empty and the winter storms closing in, it isn't long before Nina, Kevin and her neighbours are stranded with very little around them. With no running water, no electricity and no gas, Nina, Kevin, Larry and Vera are at deadlock. With infected roaming the lands and no emergency services answering the call, what was a rescue mission becomes a fight for survival in a cold and hostile environment.
Living from day to day has its challenges, but none more so when the one who was once a savior becomes the predator as months of captivity take their toll on the spirit and mind. Nina and Kevin must find a way home to their families, even if it means battling the elements to do so, they just hope after months of isolated wilderness, they're not too late...
Well, I can now say that my Zombie book cherry has been well and truly popped. On a personal note I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I was to read Jade C Jamison's dedication, I did shed a tear and I thank this wonderful woman and friend from the bottom of my heart. I love you, Jade!
Savage, well what can I say... except this book blew my mind. Zombie stories have certainly had another injection of life recently, what with the huge success of The Walking Dead, which I have become totally obsessed with by the way! But what I adored about this book was the notion that a rekindled love could still prosper and grow in the most hostile and inhospitable circumstances. Nina and Kevin's journey is thwart with obstacles so challenging it's a wonder how anyone could survive, but it was their connection, their spark and team leadership that pulled them through.
This isn't a story primarily about an apocalyptic world overtaken by the roaming dead, but one of second-chance love and reassessment of one-self. Finding out who you are, and what you are truly capable of is a refreshing and solid ground to base, what is I believe, one of the best novels Jade has written yet.
I felt their strife, the burdens, the fear, the guilt, even the damn cold, but my goodness, did it warm my heart. Nina and Kevin's connection burned slowly, their budding relationship nurtured and handled in a way that was almost innocent, reminiscent of their past as young and inexperienced teenagers, but reaching a satisfying crescendo that sets your soul on fire. Oh how I cherished those moments. That spark of light in a world so depressing, cold and dark.
Even if you are not a fan of the zombie genre, take a chance on this one because at the core, this book is so much more than a 'run for your life' gore fest, and more a book about coming home, even if home is not how you once left it.
A thought-provoking, heartfelt and satisfying thriller that will leave you begging for more. Read it!!
Kelly - 5 Crowns