Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Book Review: Thicker Than Blood by Claire C Riley/Madeline Sheehan

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…

My Review: 
I have seen a lot of very highly rated reviews for this book and with the zombie factor I was really keen to read it. Sadly, I just didn't like it at all and could not finish the book.

It is set in a grim dystopian future where the zombie apocalypse has occured and survivors seek safety inside walled and protected sanctuaries. But for the women, safety comes at a price. Leisel is forced to marry the compound leader and is raped and beaten on a daily basis. One day she snaps and kills him, and knows if she cannot escape her cell and the compound, she will be put to death. Her best friend Evelyn was also forced to marry a high ranking man and she turns to her secret lover Jami to get help for Leisel. Also wanting to help is Alex, who has secretly loved Leisel and wants a new life for them outside. I liked the idea of this grim world where escaping to be amongst zombies is a better life than being protected by evil men.

I found the start of the book interesting as they try to escape from the compound and I liked the two men Alex and Jami the best. Anyone who has read the book will now know why I wasn't happy with some of the plot choices. I'm not putting spoilers in here but I might say more when I post it on my blog. Some of the situations they find themselves in were interesting and some I disliked but I would have finished the book and set aside minor plot gripes if I had liked the characters.

The friendship with Leisel and Evelyn is what the whole story is built around and I did find it a bit annoying that we are reminded of how great this friendship is on every second page. At times I felt as if I was being hit over the head with it. It did get a bit repetitive with that. To be honest I didn't see it as a great friendship. Leisel is weak, no doubt because of her ordeal, and lets Evelyn dictate to her and at times I just wished she would grow a spine. Evelyn gets angry and jealous when Alex gets close to Leisel and the spiteful bitch does everything she can to spoil this blooming relationship, to keep Leisel's friendship all to herself. The lengths she goes to are pretty shocking and I hated that whole part of the book. It is also where I abandoned it.

Evelyn is someone I hated and despised. It seems she is allowed to have relationships or casual sex with whoever she wants but Leisel is not allowed to grasp some happiness with Alex. Oh no that isn't allowed at all. Leisel must care only about Evelyn or be punished for it. How is Evelyn better than the men who held them captive? Her friendship with Leisel is obsessive and manipulative and is not healthy in any way. I was also expecting it to turn sexual at any moment. However it was the obsessive side of it that bothered me. Evelyn had no interest in Leisel being happy so I don't regard her as much of a friend.

The zombies are more of a background feature in this book so if you are expecting a fast paced zombie novel then you might be disappointed. This book focuses on personal relationships and the evil things that people do during the apocalypse. It is well enough written but too slow for my personal tastes along with the other issues I've mentioned.

Not my thing I'm afraid.
star rating photo: 1 star orange-1star.jpg


  1. I think I grabbed this some time ago for my Kindle. The good thing is, I'm sure I grabbed it on the cheap because it doesn't sound like something I would pay full price for. Sorry you didn't like it. I don't know that I would want to be constantly reminded of the friendship as well - that would quickly get old.

    1. I tended to roll my eyes every time it was mentioned. It was Evelyn that I really wanted to kill with my bare hands!