Rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: April 9th 2019 by Atria Books
This is the first Hanna Jameson novel’s I’ve had the pleasure of reading and I don’t think it’ll be the last. While there were some slow and sluggish parts to this story, I found the main character able to sustain the novel, the suspense and the narration style. Before I go in too deep, here’s a look at the…
Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.
Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.
As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?
Some reputable authors have called this a “Stephen King meets Agatha Christie…novel” (Untrue) and said it’s “For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts…” (Again Untrue). This novel is not high impact and does not have the science heavy and intricate details of any of the novels or authors mentioned above. So don’t go into this novel thinking you’ll get creepy to the max like a King novel or intricate science like The Girl with All the Gifts. You’ll be disappointed, which I was…at first. Then I stripped away all the things people said the book SHOULD be and found that it stood pretty well on its own. It is a story of self awareness, post-apocalyptic “what would you do” style of adventure. I found the characters actions to be believable (until the end) and warranted in many occasions. While true back stories lacked in almost all the characters, the reader still gets a grip on who the major players are and what they would do in a situation. Even with all this good, there were some missteps with the lingering too long investigation of the young girl, the unexplained relationships and alliances, and the twist at the end seemed a little non-sensical. For the interest of not spilling any spoilers, I won’t give too much away but the explanation for certain characters at the end was bittersweet. Overall, I enjoyed the story and liked the style of writing as if the narrator was writing a historical account of events (this allows the reader to remember that it is written in the point of view of someone who may or may not be reliable…and that keeps you on your toes).
Raging Book Reviews Recommended
*Special thanks to Atria Books and Netgalley for sending me a copy to review.