God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe…Older than her years and completely alone, Temple is just trying to live one day at a time in a post-apocalyptic world, where the undead roam endlessly, and the remnant of mankind who have survived, at times, seem to retain little humanity themselves. This is the world she was born into. Temple has known nothing else. Her journey takes her to far-flung places, to people struggling to maintain some semblance of civilization – and to those who have created a new world order for themselves. When she comes across the helpless Maury, she attempts to set one thing right, if she can just get him back to his family in Texas then maybe it will bring redemption for some of the terrible things she’s done in her past. Because Temple has had to fight to survive, has done things that she’s not proud of and, along the road, she’s made enemies. Now one vengeful man is determined that, in a world gone mad, killing her is the one thing that makes sense
This is probably going to be the vaguest, wishy-washiest review I’ve written. But I find that it’s imperative not to go into too much detail with this one. If you’ve read it or when you’ve read it, you’ll probably understand why I’m reluctant to go into too much detail. This book asks a lot of questions and doesn’t offer a lot of answers… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Books are supposed to make you think and this one certainly does.
If you do want a crack at some answers Lisa and Catie both do a great job on the thread for my review on Goodreads and it’s definitely worth checking their thoughts out.
Of course, I get distracted by Idris Elba and contribute nothing.
Because that’s how I roll.
“She knew about the forces of things, and she understood about America the Beautiful, and she was unafraid, except of herself.”
Language. Temple. Makes you think. Maury. The beauty in the world. Road trip. Slugs. Ambiguity. Grief. Guilt. Isolation. Companionship. Hope. Humanity. Survival. Allegory. Conscience. The now.
[Please note that I haven’t mentioned the ‘z’ word here. I think it would do this book a great injustice to call it a zombie book. It’s about a lot more… zombies seem to be peripheral in this one.]
Do not go into this book thinking you can get away with just reading it and forgetting about it. It’s one of those niggly books that worms its way into your brain and takes root. I haven’t decided whether that’s a good thing or not. The reason why that is a low point is because if you read this book and take it at face value it probably won’t make any sense. So I’d advise you to read this book when you’ve got your thinking hat/bonnet/fedora/headdress on.
I wasn’t a fan of Moses and his role in this book. I got it (I think), I just think there could have been a better away to get the point across. But don’t ask me how, because I couldn’t tell you.
But that’s all I’m going to say because I’m being mysterious.
Ditto with Millie.
Temple is one of the strongest and most memorable heroines that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is resourceful, she is powerful, she is rational and she is only fifteen. Born into a world that was already in the grips of this ‘slug’ apocalypse, Temple had to grow up quickly and deal with things that are impossible to fathom. And all of that puts a lot of things in perspective….
And that’s all I’m saying.
I instantly thought of this song when I finished this book.
To the east to the east
The road beneath my feet
To the west to the west
I haven’t got there yet
And to the north to the north
Never to be caught
To the south to the south
My time is running out.
And I just believe Frank Turner is a lyrical master. And kinda cute in a London-boys-wear-plaid way.
5/10. I know this is going to sound strange, especially if you’ve read this book and know what happens in the story, but this book made me feel really happy. A lot of awful things happen in this book or have happened and are alluded to but there is a definite vein of hope that pulses through Temple’s story.
That isn’t to say that every character is like that, far from it, but the characters that I will remember the most (Lee, for example, and Temple herself) had not given up and are still looking for beauty in a world where it would be easy to believe that everything is decayed and tainted.
I really respected Temple’s acceptance of her place in the world and how she never fails to see and make the most of her time on this world. It may not be perfect and it may not be what she would’ve chosen but it’s what she has and it’s her now and there’s no point looking backwards and she isn’t going to waste a minute of it.
After all- “It never pays much to go backward to someplace you already been.”
People who like to think after they’ve finished reading a book. People who like gorgeous prose. People who like strong female protagonists.
Told you it was going to be wishy-washy!
I’m going to end this review with a few of my favourite quotes from the book.
”The world, it treats you kind enough so long as you’re not fightin against it.”
“They travel from place to place, living off the land and trying to see the lengths and breadths of this great nation of ours before it goes under for the last time. There are still majestical things to see.”
“See, there’s a music to the world and you got to be listening otherwise you’ll miss it sure”