When the world ends, can love survive?
For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone means fighting for tomorrow is an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can't remember what it's like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda's biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.
When reports of a widespread, deadly "outbreak" begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can't outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy - an enemy who no longer remembers what it's like to be human.
Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you'd die for becomes the one who could destroy you?
Red Hill grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times best-selling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
©2013 Jamie McGuire (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I skimmed the reviews. I had full warning. The book is 9 hours 38 minutes long. I really enjoyed the first 9 hours. I thought, "these reviewers don't know what they're talking about! This is a fine book and quiet enjoyable." Then came the 38 minutes that completely, 100%, ruined the entire book. So much so, that I'm thinking about getting my credit back for a bad experience. It's as if someone tapped the author on the shoulder, said "um, this has gone on long enough. You need to wrap this up now." Instead of writing anymore about the love triangle, the author kills all of them! WHAT?!?!?! At exactly 9 hours, it was like "we went out on another clearing today. He died. Sorry." I thought my audio had skipped a few chapters or something! Then minutes later, the 2 little girls finally came walking/running up and in order to wrap up the other side of the love triangle, let's kill both of them off too. "They ran, he was bitten. She tried to save him, she was bitten." That's how much time was spent on it! All of the likable characters were killed off with absolutely no time spent. As I stated, it's like the author was in a hurry to end it and she most certainly did. And the only reason Ashley, the least competent one of the college kids, was allowed to live, was because Skeeter needed a love interest. Really? She's a teenager and he's like mid 30s. REALLY? Oh, and even better.....at the ending, after the city is bombed and it's poured ash from the sky for 6 straight days, a black helicopter lands in the front yard, black ops soldiers jump out and knock on the door. "We're looking for Skeeter." The lady from the church told them to look here for Skeeter. WHAT? Skeeter only came here after he found out Nate was there, well after the church scene. Yah, the ash parted in the sky and a black chopter lands in the yard, with black ops jumping from it. So unbelievable stupid!!!!
Either the author lost all interest in this book at hour 9 or she just handed it off to her assistant to finish. It was the oddest, snap of a finger, change I've ever seen in a writing style.
Oh, why didn't I listen to other reviewers--the ones with brains who said not to bother with this tripe? I should have read the ones with spoiler alerts.
I don't usually like to write reviews with spoilers, but without them, it's pretty tough to dissuade someone from wasting their time and money so I might as well go whole hog.
That said, here's the spoiler alert review as to why this book is best avoided:
Because the author can't tell a decent story, though the writing itself is decent. Did this writer not have an editor? Or a writing group who would have said, "Uh, these fifteen (or however many) things you do in this novel going to be so very unsatisfying for the reader, because what you've done is stupid, illogical, lazy, etc." Or, "Gee, you sure you want to kill off half your cast of characters with barely a 'fare thee well'?"
McGuire gives us Scarlet, one of the main characters who is so obsessed about finding her children that she gets a number of characters killed. Not only does the author kill off a number of the likeable and decent characters, said author sometimes does so in what probably amounts to a paragraph (if you were reading instead of listening). Most times it's told and not even shown in a scene. If that's not lazy writing, I don't know what is. Nobody likes it when characters they like die, but a decent writer knows how to do it in a "satisfying" way. Additionally, the author could have given the characters other reasons for "clearing" the town so some of the deaths wouldn't have been so senseless and a direct result of Scarlet's irrational thinking.
What's worse, after the author kills off many of the main characters, Scarlet's kids coming strolling on down the road after months and months.
What's the point of a minor love triangle when the author kills off all three of those characters?
Autistic (very high-functioning) kid who is never identified as such. If you don't know anything about autism, some of what the author writes might be a little mystifying.
They are not very diligent about keeping watch for the walking dead, which is the main cause of another senseless death.
The ending: Since only one character I cared about survived Scarlet's obsession, I didn't really care what happened.
I could go on, but I think that ought to be enough to warn people away from a novel that was probably written during NaNoWriMo--that's an "event" when you write a novel in one month--and was never edited.
Female narrator who does Scarlet: Excellent
Female narrator who does Miranda: Ok
Male narrator: Rather monotone
I love to read and listen to books. I teach and share my love with my teenager and I'd like to share that love with you.
When I set eyes on this cover and realized that EMMA GALVIN teamed up to narrate another of McGUIRE’s works, I had to give it a listen. The combination of McGUIRE, GALVIN, and Zombies is so up my alley that friend Felicia @ The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog was going to send me the audio to review. But alas, I had already cashed in an Audible credit and marked it “Read.”
You’ll spend a little over half of the book with our three narrators on the run toward RED HILL. Though I could totally feel their anxiety and fear, I had a hard time connecting with the characters and their storylines. But I knew once they all hit RED HILL, things would happen. And they do. Their lives start to intertwine and complicate. I guess messy and complicated should be expected when a zombie apocalypse is thrust upon you. The relationships I enjoyed the most were those of the college kids. They rewarded you with loyal and sweet to uncomfortable and questioning.
Scarlet, Scarlet, Scarlet. I think you caused me the greatest pain. I felt your actions were overly selfish and reckless. They diminished my views towards RED HILL and toward your badassness.
EMMA GALVIN is always a favorite and she doesn’t disappoint here. She captures the youthful hopefulness of our college characters. She made me care about Miranda and the things that burdened her heart plus want to protect those that were important to her. ZACHARY WEBBER‘s stiff, calculated resolve made Nathan hard to connect with on the run. But at RED HILL, it fit what his character needed to be. He had to keep calm for the sake of the children and hold down the fort. JANUARY LAVOY’s Scarlet was hard to read. She was kind of stoic. But in hindsight, it was really one of those creepy calms that has something unhinged bubbling underneath. She was protective and courageous, but it twists into something I couldn’t resolve myself to appreciate in the end.
It is one of those books that makes wonder if the lives lost were worth the ones saved.
Say something about yourself!
No zombies. It is my own fault. I don't do zombies. Not because they are scary but because it is not believable. It should have known better. I loved Jamie's other books so I just jumped in.
Something happy with dogs.
Worked with material.
Zachary Webber's perfect voice is the best thing about this book. It is an entertaining listen, but there is nothing novel about this apocalyptic storyline.
I read the book and loved it. .but the narrators are just awful. they are readi ng. .not narrating. one sounds like he is falling asleep the entire time...his voice is so droning. wish I could return this one!!
Avid reader, enthusiastic book club organizer, aspiring writer & devoted mommy of one Doberman puppy, Maddox, and one Half-Arab mare Kissy.
So, Jamie McGuire’s new book, Red Hill, good? Bad? Ugly? Well I can tell you one thing, it definitely is not Beautiful. I mean, duh, it IS about Zombies, so who would expect beauty, but it also isn’t anything like her previous two books, Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster. The main difference is that this book is not New Adult. Despite the tag line on the back cover of the book, “When the world ends, can love survive?” this is not a romance. While there is romance in the book, it is never the plot’s central theme. My overall impression of Red Hill was that it read like an episode of what I imagined the TV series, the Walking Dead to be like. I have never seen a single episode, so I could be way off, but that was my main impression. The book is told from the alternating viewpoints of Scarlet, an x-ray tech and single mother of 2 girls, Nathan, who has a daughter and a less than present wife, and Miranda, a college student en route to her father’s ranch with her sister and their boyfriends. While the different narratives are all told from the first person, I still felt slight removed from these characters. Scarlet is tough and determined. Nathan is nurturing and likable and Miranda is confused about her relationship with her boyfriend and her intense attraction to a new comer to their little community at Red Hill Ranch. The story tracks these three until they all make their way to the ranch. On the way to the ranch, they each see or unknowingly interact with each other, but never realize it until after they reach the ranch. The relationships in this book are all over the place. Nathan and Scarlet’s love was a little unbelievable to me and Miranda and Joey’s story was too underdeveloped for me to feel any real emotion. While the characters go through a lot, I cannot say for certain whether they truly grew or not. The plot was exciting, if not predictable. However, the ending I did NOT predict. The entire book, Scarlet is waiting for her two girls to find their way to the ranch. After months, everyone but Scarlet thinks the girls must be dead. I will not tell you if the girls ever make it to the ranch or not, you have to read the book to find out for yourself, but I will say that McGuire kept me guessing until the end. I do not know if the ending of the book is satisfying enough given all that these characters endure. One complaint I did have is that the end is told only from Scarlet’s point of view and I felt that there really should have been follow up with Nathan’s and even Miranda’s characters. There was a lot of action in this story and the plot advanced at a nice pace, never leaving this reader bored. While it was not my favorite, (I never truly connected with the characters or felt any real emotion with this book) I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading an intense, plausibe survival account of a zombie apocalypse. As a side note, I thought the narration was top notch. And just a small tid bit of "neat-o" the voice of Nathan is read by Zachary Webber, Tammara Webber(author of Easy)'s son.
Mother of teenaged bear, Wife to chaos, Warrior
I'm always leery when trying new authors but i'm so glad I did with Jamie McGuire. It words flow smoothly the story is strong and realistic. I do hope their is a sequel to Red Hill. It isn't that the ending wasn't satisfying. It was. I'm just curious what happened to so many great characters.
The writer is wonderful, holds your interest. The narrators are about the best there are. LOVE all three. Made me look for more of their narrations. Planning to buy Monsters Among Us!!
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