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Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Matter Of Days by Amber Kizer [Review]

Young Adult, Thriller, Adventure, Survival
Publication.Date  June 11th 2013
Published By:  Delacorte Press
WebsiteAmber Kizer 

A Matter Of Days on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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On Day 56 of the pandemic called BluStar, sixteen-year-old Nadia's mother dies, leaving her responsible for her younger brother Rabbit. They secretly received antivirus vaccines from their uncle, but most people weren't as lucky. Their deceased father taught them to adapt and survive whatever comes their way. That's their plan as they trek from Seattle to their grandfather's survivalist compound in West Virginia. Using practical survival techniques, they make their way through a world of death and destruction until they encounter an injured dog; Zack, a street kid from Los Angeles; and other survivors who are seldom what they seem. Illness, infections, fatigue, and meager supplies have become a way of life. Still, it will be worth it once they arrive at the designated place on the map they have memorized. But what if no one is there to meet them?

Love? I'd never been in love. Might never be in love. Might never meet another teenager. Might be the last girl on earth. What if we are the only people left? Waking up in the middle of the night cold? Crying? Needing fire and food and what happens when it all runs out or spoils or --?
We'd learned to be afraid of the unknown. Survivors we'd seen so far came in two groups: those gone crazy with the reality and those who'd been broken so far they were starving to death in their shock. I really needed to meet someone who was trying to hold it together. Someone who hadn't let the circumstances overwhelm them. Someone like me, like Rabbit. Are we the only ones trying to start over?
"I guess we're not the only survivors."
For the first time I wondered if that was really a good thing. Maybe there are worse things than zombies to worry about?

     Thoroughly entertaining to read and deeply bone-chilling to experience, A Matter Of Days is a book that you'll read once but will never forget. It's a survival story like no other: meaningful, emotional, at times sentimental, but most of all crafted with skill and conviction that makes this tale terrifyingly real and uncomfortably plausible.
     In her newest book, the bestselling author of Fenestra series, Amber Kizer, tackles the aftermath of a deadly pandemic that took down 98% of world's population in a record time. The story follows the adventures and struggles of a sibling duo, sixteen-year-old Nadia and her younger brother Robert (nicknamed Rabbit), as they travel across the country to their grandfather's survivalist compound in West Virginia. Alone, surrounded by death, rot and danger, they will face many adversities in order to reach their destination. They'll be hungry, cold and lost. They'll get attacked and robbed of all their belongings. And they'll learn the hard way that the disease was only the beginning of their world's descent into chaos.
     I absolutely loved this book - each page of it was compelling, breath-taking and thought-provoking. Filled with ever present sense of danger and foreboding. The air was always thick with tension and even in those happy moments you were still watchful and alert, enjoying the happiness but at the same time preparing yourself for something bad that would surely happen on the next page, or in the next chapter. It was one intense read, my friends! Just the premise itself was enough to give me goosebumps - two kids, alone in a lawless, merciless world. So many things could go wrong. And they do go wrong.. Oh yes, they do.
     I enjoyed Kizer's writing style a lot. She wasn't too descriptive, and yet she managed to convey the bleakness of the world in its full intensely disturbing glory. Her storytelling evoked many emotions, from fear, pain and desperation to hopefulness and joy. She created a world that was not only believable and convincing, but also completely unforgettable. You'll be reeling from her vision of the dark, post-pandemic world long after you turn the last page. No, she did not invent the wheel. There are many similar stories out there. Stories about deadly outbreaks and those trying to survive the aftermaths. Post-apocalyptic tales of fighting for your life and re-building the world that's been lost. So no, she did not invent the wheel. But she took the wheel and improved it to the point of perfection. And she made you care about the wheel. How many authors can do that?

     Nadia's was an absorbing narrator to follow and a fantastic heroine to love and admire. Her love for her brother was evident, everything she did, she did to keep him safe and happy. It couldn't have been easy for her, but she stepped up and took the responsibility of caring for Rabbit. She was strong, brave, and mature beyond her age. Sensitive and caring, but at the same time fierce and unstoppable when the situation called for it. What can I say? I love this girl.

     As odd as it might be, I didn't want this novel to end. I didn't want to say goodbye to the fabulously fleshed out characters. I grew to love them and care for them. I wanted the story to go beyond what happened at the end. I really needed to know what happened next. And I felt so sad when I turned the last page. It isn't often - even with the utmost enjoyable books - that I feel this way. Let that be a testimony to A Matter Of Days' greatness.

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