Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley

October 2, 2016 Book Review 0 ★★★★

Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Rileyfour-stars
Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan, Claire C. Riley
on January 15, 2015
Pages: 367
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A true friendship never dies.
Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything… Even an apocalypse.
Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize.
Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss.
Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity.
Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together.
But in such a savage world, is there room for love?
In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death.
There are friends…
And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.
NOTE TO READERS: **Thicker than Blood is the first in a series consisting of several STANDALONE novels all based in the same setting.**

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

EDGy Review

Reviewed LilyWow!

Imagine you and your best friend have gone from suburbia to a supposed safe zone and separated from the rest of civilisation because of the threat of a deadly infection. Being shielded from the infected is the only benefit of being in this place they call Fredericksville. Gone are the mundane issues, their happy marriages and dreams for the future.

I have had Thicker Than Blood on my Kindle for a while, but it was when I was looking for audio options that it caught my attention again. The choice meant I was able to switch between listening when I was unable to read. The narrator was easy to listen to except I found the pleading tone after a while became irritating. Mind you the need to plead was there, but I thought the characters were stronger when I read about them opposed to listening to them.

Initially, I was under the impression this book was more about the living dead rather than people doing their best to stay alive. Survival underpins every turn in this story. Genuine friendship is rare and valued in this new world, lucky for Leisel and Evelyn they have been able to keep their friendship intact. Leisel and Evelyn keep each other going, with their friendship the reason they continue to conform to the rules imparted upon them. Their ability to survive in a changed, scary world so far has been supported by each other. A dystopian world where healthy people do everything they can to stay that way. Desperation, power and greed are prevalent in Fredericksville. One day when it all becomes too much, one of them snaps and they soon discover there are others who will do anything to keep them safe apart from each other.

When faced with the bleak reality of this changed world, people’s priorities change and their actions often become reactions. The pressure was immense to stay alert, not crack under the pressure and show no weakness. Of course, few people can remain hardened at all times, Evelyn and Leisel were no exception.

As the situations were varied, it was interesting to see the dynamics between the survivors adapt accordingly. It meant that no character became predictable, nor the plot. Early on I was desperately hoping not all was as it appeared, and then towards the end, it gutted me to realize that the outcome I hoped for was no longer a possibility.

Just when it seemed it was only a matter of time before all was doomed, hope suddenly appeared in a promising opportunity to continue to exist in a non-threatening situation. That is, until the epilogue when there was a change in tone of a character that I was beginning to soften towards. I’m not quick on dismissing the character in question, but it is going to take a massive injection of compassion to sway my opinion, which I can’t imagine happening.

Thicker than Blood has a View Spoiler »ending. My depiction is based on the words I used being stretched because this is a dystopian world where the definition of a lot of things including emotions has been warped to suit the environment and times. Be prepared, nothing is sugar coated. The harshness of their reality is driven home time and time again. This provided a platform to examine the endurance of friendship and to a certain extent, love in a world where love had little opportunity to flourish.

I could easily stop reading this series at this point, happy for any of the questions to remain unanswered but there’s a niggly thought that keeps me wanting to check in and see what’s happening. What I will do is have a breather, because this has been an intense story, full of emotion and raw survival.

4 Surprising and Intense Stars

four-stars
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