Target Audience: Adults
I'd like to start by thanking Mr Hilley for asking me to review his novel and for allowing me to publish my review on my blog. I will now go on to say that this is a brilliant read and definitely one for lovers of sci-fi and horror, oh, and talking cats!
Before going on I'll give you a brief spoiler-free synopsis and I am also going to warn that this book contains content of an adult nature and some bits that some teenage or younger readers may find upsetting.
Following a missile strike, the inhabitants of Pittsburgh now live in the research center hiding from monsters that now stalk the streets. These creatures known as Shifters are able to change shape at will and get stronger feeding off other creatures. Daniel, the leader of the group of survivors discovers that Pittsburgh is fenced off and that nothing is as it seems leading them all to question whether the Shifters were an accident or whether they were placed there on purpose.
This book struck me as very different from a lot of other horror/sci-fi novels I have read in my time and it really took me by surprise. I am going to be honest and say that It took me a few chapters to get into it and there was a strong macho air about the story (for example, women fighting to be with the men they wanted and men fighting to be at the top of the pecking order) but this was a minor niggle for me and it didn't take anything from the plot. The story moved quickly and without any jumping around, which was a relief and I was reading very fast towards the end as the pieces came together and everything made complete sense.
There were some instances that had me absolutely horrified and scared out of my skin. I have a very active imagination so anything I read I can picture very clearly and the thought of monsters running around eating people and humans becoming monsters terrified me to no end.
The writing is very well done and I couldn't help but imagine how these people were living and I had a strong sense of claustrophobia just reading about the living conditions.
On a character front I have to say that there are a lot of them but only a few are looked at closely. Those few including Daniel, Lucas, Dr Helmsby, Julia, Johanna and a few others, the rest of them are touched upon but aren't focused upon as much.
On the Shifter side of things very few of them are focused on and I can't say who or what without spoiling the plot for those who haven't read it, so I'm keeping my fingers away from the keyboard in that area.
The thing I liked the best in this book though...the talking cat! Yes, there's a talking cat called Morton! This alone is a reason to read this book, he's awesome :-)
Anyway, in all seriousness, if you love your sci-fi, horror and a dash of romance and some truly creepy and scary scenes definitely give this a read. I will definitely be reading the next in the series.