Friday, 6 May 2016

Book Review: The Turn by J Walker

What would you do if you knew the zombie apocalypse was imminent?
Would you tell your family? Your friends?
Or would you wait until the end was near?

The Turn is the first book of an exciting new zombie apocalypse series called Extinction Level Event. Written specifically for the ever-growing female audience of the zombie apocalypse genre, the story is told through the eyes of Emily Hanson, wife, mother and survivor.

Follow the incredible struggles of two families as they prepare for humanities possible extinction and society’s eventual collapse. Witness the devastating isolation of the outbreak’s early days and the unforeseen trials of living in the post-apocalyptic world. Regardless of how prepared they are, there is always another unexpected threat waiting to jeopardize their best laid plans. 

My Review:
Emily and her husband Marcus live in Windsor, Canada with their two kids and daughter Ashley from Emily's previous relationship which ended badly. So when her ex John and wife Amy arrive to share news about the so called bird flu outbreak in China, she is reluctant to listen. However when she and Marcus view the evidence, the four adults throw themselves into a joint rural compound where their families can be safe, before the zombie virus hits Canada. But however prepared you are, it can hit without warning and the families are scattered when the time comes to flee so they must all take the journey to the compound and hope everyone gets there safely.

There was plenty to like about this zombie story. I liked the whole preparing for disaster beginning which others find slow, as I read a lot of similar books. I enjoyed watching what they were doing, the tension building as the outbreak creeps nearer. I also enjoyed the way the outbreak suddenly hits Windsor without warning, while everyone is collecting family from various places. It shows that you can never be totally prepared. The whole escape from Windsor was good, and the original set up of a new life in the compound was enjoyable. I liked the ending of the book though I was expecting it to happen-and I was pleased to see it happen. I also liked the raid on the compound story and the way it was written.

I had an issue with the MC Emily. After not speaking in person to your ex husband for about a decade, you really think he and his wife came to visit you to tell you about a zombie apocalypse just to play a prank on you? Oh please! The fact John and Amy looked terrified, phoned continually to beg you to watch the flash drive that Derek sent them and gave you video evidence wasn't enough? It took ages to forget her personal feelings about John and work with him. Thankfully Marcus showed more sense. Emily elects herself leader despite having no clue how to do it, spends her time wallowing in personal misery instead of getting things done. She thinks they are being watched but instead of warning the others to put them on alert, she spends days having a self pity party and not getting a plan ready! She is very frustrating at times.

There were good characters in this book who rarely got page time as everything was about Emily. Sam is a natural leader yet after his introduction we barely see him. His sons are relegated to potential love interests for Ashley and Sarah, or babysitters for the kids. John's story is shown impacting on Emily but not really on Amy. Bree and Amy are there only to give Emily someone to moan to or get comfort from. They were vastly underused which was disappointing. There was too much time spent on Jenna, who was obnoxious and reckless in her decision making. New characters kept being introduced but it seemed they were only brough in as love interests for other characters as they didn't seem to do much else.

There was too much tell and not enough show-Bree's disaster happens over three lines so we don't get to feel the emotional storyline, we are told about what they are doing to get supplies but not letting us be there to experience it. There was not a great amount of exciting zombie action which I would have liked to see. I didn't feel any chemistry with Derek's romance and I'd have preferred to see him and Sam running things instead of both being supporting roles for the women to sleep with. Even the setting up of outposts seemed to be to further Derek's romance rather than provide an exciting development.

These were personal niggles with the story but my main annoyance was the fact that the adults spend most of their time smoking dope and growing it at the compound. This really hacks me off. I'm not interested in hearing how nothing productive can be done until a joint has been shared. They smoke dope on guard duty despite zombies being there and a vicious militia gang operating nearby. Emily can't get out of bed in the morning to do her duties as she was up all night dope smoking with the girls as that was so much more important than spending time with her kids or running the compound. The whole group were smoking dope on the way to raids on the highways as well which is hardly sensible! If I'd wanted to read a book about dopeheads getting high every day, I'd have picked another genre to read. This plot ruined the book for me.

Am I going to read on with the series? I'm not sure. I don't really want to read another two books about how great dope is and have the characters high all the time. The lack of show and abundance of drugs has really put me off what could have been a really great zombie novel.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png


  1. Stoners and zombies, a great combo!! Sorry for all the comments by the way, I am crazy behind in my commenting!

    1. I'm catching up with all the comments as well! I actually found a couple at the end of last month that I hadn't replied to so I was able to fix that. Comments are always welcomed so don't worry about that!