REVIEW: Until the End of the World (Until the End of the World #1) by Sarah Lyons Fleming

Until the EndRating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Apocalyptic/ Zombie Fiction, Pages: 400, Level: Easy

Book Description:

Cassie Forrest isn’t surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too.

This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of.

Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.

I love zombie novels and have read quite a few. Maybe not as many as others, but nothing to scoff at. However, I do have to break up the zombie books with something else because honestly, how many different zombie apocalypse storylines could there possibly be? I feel confident saying that most zombie books have the same basic storyline- a zombie apocalypse happens, there is doubt and confusion, then there is carnage, scattered people come together to form a group, either someone sabotages the group or an outside non-zombie threat presents itself, the remaining group must figure out how to continue until a cure or safe-haven is discovered, or at least until a sequel is published.

I’d be hard pressed to find a lot of truly unique zombie stories- The Benny Imura series by Jonathan Maberry and the Zom-B series by Darren Shan maybe. Definitely Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, which is infinitely better than the movie, by the way. Even The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman because it is presented in graphic novel format and is really, really good.

So once in a while you will find a truly unique story. Unfortunately, Until the End of the World is not one. “But wait a minute,” you might say. “You gave Until the End of the World four stars. What gives?” To which I might respond, “Sometimes the details make all the difference.”

I don’t want to sound misogynistic, but I was a bit disappointed in how the women were presented in Until, especially in light of the fact that the author is female. While the male characters are all different and have some issues, they are all pretty much kick butt. The women… one is basically a Kardashian, her older sister is delusional and pretty much weak and the heroine is flaky and obsessed with her ex-boyfriend. Because when the zombie apocalypse occurs, that’s what will concern me the most- how I messed up the best relationship of my life, whether or not my ex is still alive and if he is, will he still love me and welcome me with open arms.

I hated the Kardashian so much I wanted to slap her. The older sister was so frustratingly naïve that I wanted to slap her. And the heroine was such a flakey idiot that I wanted to slap her. Don’t they know they are representing women all around the world?!! And doing it poorly? Step up!!! Okay, the fact that I had this reaction… pretty good writing.

Also, there aren’t a whole lot of zombies in this book about the zombie apocalypse. Eh? But sometimes it is nice to read a story about human nature and interaction in the midst of a crisis. I was a little disappointed the portion that takes place in the city was so short. The main character is so well stocked for a crisis that they don’t have to brave the city streets for supplies. I really like that part of survival stories- reading about city mayhem. But eventually we do get to see the characters looking for supplies once they are out of the city. It just would have been nice to have a contrast between doing this in the middle of a major city and a small town, at least by comparison.

Finally, I do like that the culminating moment does not occur at the end of the book. I enjoy reading about the after effects of these moments and Until provideth.

I know, you kind of feel like you have whiplash, right? Thrice (yes, that really is a word), I commented on something negative but ended up liking it and giving the book four stars. The reason is because I rate books on whether or not I enjoy them, and that’s all. Most of the time it doesn’t matter if there are plot holes, scientific inaccuracies, etc, and I’m not saying Until has these, I’m just giving examples. The most important thing to me when rating books is how much I enjoyed the book, and I did enjoy Until the End of the World and will possibly give the sequel a try, eventually.

Reviewed by Christina
September 20, 2014

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