The world has ended, but her journey has just begun.
Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the president of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are defined not by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.
Adams's debut, the first of a trilogy, presents a dystopian future in which a fatal disease the titular "White Horse " has been unleashed on humanity. The novel opens with 30-year-old Zoe passing through "what used to be Italy" on her way to Greece. The story flips between "Date: Then" and "Date: Now" at head-spinning speed. Amid the whir of flashbacks and flashforwards, we learn that prior to the outbreak, Zoe, whose husband died in a car accident, went to work as a janitor at Pope Pharmaceuticals in an effort to assuage her grief. While employed at Pope, she receives a mysterious sealed jar, which may have something to do with the deadly epidemic. Rather than taking the jar to the police, she takes herself to therapist Nick Rose, with whom she longs to violate her doctor-patient relationship. Now, Zoe is heading to Greece in search of Nick, who has disappeared. Along the way, she collects an abused blind girl named Lisa, a threatening Swiss man, and a donkey. Early on, Zoe manages the rescue of Lisa from her abusers in a couple of scenes that are written with gut-wrenching verve, but as the corpses pile up, they overwhelm the novel. The jumps between "Now" and "Then" are so frequent that it's difficult to get involved in either narrative, and when the two threads converge and the puzzle pieces are all fitted together, the resulting picture strains credibility.
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I bought this book yesterday and could not put it down! A great page turner!
Exploitation - beware
This novel is very well written, but the two heroines are sexually exploited repeatedly. I had a difficult time wanting to spend my hours reading about a young girl raped by her family members and then aided to escape only to be caught in another situation of sexual exploitation: she is then sexually exploited by the man that is supposed to be helping her. That kind of story is not escapism for me. Girls and women are exploited everyday and I don't want to read a futuristic novel about it certainly. A dystopian novel has so many things the characters can face, I feel that it is a bad choice to have your young heroes sexually exploited as a means of tension. Hunger Games this is not, of course, but can you imagine what those books would have been like if it were filled with rape?
Dystopian novels are a rave in the United States, I think as we gain more and more, we are drawn to stories in which characters are facing a world without all of the daily comforts we afford ourselves. We like to read about the consequences of so much of the greed and corruption we hear about daily. We love to read about the struggle for all those things we take for granted. This novel missed that mark for me and I will not be reading anymore of this particular set of stories. I just don't want to read a novel where girls are exploited. It lacks depth. Instead of heroism, I found no heroism, humiliation is a tough thing for a reader to overcome. If you humiliate your hero, there's no coming back from that.
That being said, Alex Adams can write and write well, it is the content that will keep me away. So be aware of what's here and make the right choice for you.
Good try at Apocalypse novel
Started out great, but dissolved into romance novel at the end. Could have been so much better. Putting all blame for apocalypse on single villain and complete helplessness, let alone non-communication of elected governments, seems absurd. If intended as gory romance novel OK, otherwise not so much. I finished it, though. Usually I don't when the premise starts to fail.