Rating: 4 Stars
Date Started: 15 April 2017
Date Finished: 18 April 2017
I really struggled to decide on my rating for this book. It was very almost a 5 star, but ultimately I decided on 4. Here’s why
– The story itself was great, with lots of heart pumping action and edge of your seat moments.
– The characters were relatable (inasmuch as someone who hasn’t lived through what they had can relate to them.
– The characters were diverse, but it wasn’t treated as a big deal, which was really so damn awesome.
– The author drew no punches, but he also didn’t overplay anything. It was a gritty read, but only as gritty as it needed to be to tell the story.
– So many grammatical errors!
– Ok maybe there was a bit of overdramatic scenes. Especially when anything with the “Walking Cancer” was in play.
That’s literally the only complaints I had. The grammatical errors weren’t that big of a deal because I had gotten the copy from Netgalley, so I know not to expect perfection. However the book was released in 2015, so I feel like these things should have been picked up by now and updated…
The story was definitely not what I expected. I think I had a lot of preconceived notions about this book because of the cover image, which now that I’ve finished it, I just don’t understand how it relates. While I knew this was a dystopia, the cover made me think it was going to be a YA frothy kind of dystopia. I put off reading this for the longest time because of that.
What it actually turned out to be was a gritty tale of survival against all odds. Of loss and despair and just everything going tits up. The world-building was expansive and vivid, and I could clearly see this aptly named blight that had struck the world, leaving it crawling with terrifying creatures from who knows where and people just trying to survive hour by hour. Sure, it’s all been done before, but “All That Remains” gets it right in it’s own special way.
The story was brilliant, but that’s not even my favorite part about this book. The characters made it all come to life in the most amazing way. Each and every one was unique, and even though you had your token bad guys like the hillbilly abductors with sketchy intentions, even they were real.
One of the main characters is a 50 year old black sociology professor, who’s also a badass zombie killer and provider for his friends. I think his race was mentioned about 3 times, because it just wasn’t a thing. It was normal. He wasn’t used as a lesson on racism or even the other extreme of a black guy being the bad guy, he was just a guy trying to survive like everyone else! Sure, he was super moody and egotistical, but I think we can cut him some slack for surviving so long. Also, there was that other thing that probably had a lot to do with his reactions…
Sara, the other main character, is what they call a scanner. Scanning is an ability that arrived with all the other crap, and basically means she can function like a radar to pick up if there are any threats around. Oh, she’s also a lesbian, but again it’s not really a thing. It’s mentioned a bit more than Kyle’s being black, but in a character building way instead of a tool to promote some agenda. Basically, she was beaten by her family and ostracized by her community (church) for being gay. I think it’s fair to say this will have some influence on your views of the world and the person you turn out being.
The other two main characters are Tim, a teenaged boy who pretty much grew up in the new world and quickly had to learn to be grown up, and Kaylee, a 7ish year old born after shit hit the fan, but who grew up in a government bunker. Kaylee’s mom was a scientist who left the bunker on a mission that could end up saving the world, but unfortunately met with an untimely dismemberment. Luckily she left behind a handy flash drive found by our hero after they pick up Kaylee… mind you, the author never did say how Kaylee survived… hmmmm
I breezed through this story loving it all the way, and I would definitely recommend this to any dystopia lovers.