by Alex Adams
Series: White Horse #1
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the President of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are not defined by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.
White Horse is the first novel in the White Horse trilogy and shares the beginning of a post-apocalyptic dystopian world and its downfall. It is dark, gritty, and eerily real. Adam shares with us the many facets of a man at his best and worst. She immediately captured my attention with her riveting world-building and her raw, fleshed out characters. This tale immediately made me think of the Passage by John Cronin and the awesomeness I felt while embarking on that journey. Within the first few pages, I knew I had in my hands a novel I would not soon forget.
The tale introduces us to Zoe, a thirty-one-year-old janitor at Pope Pharmaceuticals. The President of the United States announces humans are no longer a viable species as a mass epidemic begins to wipe out the population. Slowly the world around Zoe crumbles and she begins to lose loved ones and friends. She begins to witness horrible changes and suspect that her employer is involved. When she is left alone, she embarks on a journey that will take her halfway across the world. She travels for hope, and a secret she carries. Along the way, she encounters both horrors and humanity at its best. She uncovers truths and learns that we are what we choose to be. The tale that unfolds is enthralling and engaging.
Zoe is flawed, complicated and very intelligent. She chose to work as a janitor since it required little thinking and Adams does an excellent job of fleshing her out. Zoe became real, and I understood what compelled her. The transformation of her character, her compassion and her capacity to love endeared her to me. Nick was a therapist before the outbreak, went to war and returns to find everyone he loved is gone. He reconnects with Zoe his former patient and they lean on each other. Their relationship was complicated and compelled Zoe to act. Other characters added to the tale, like the evil Swiss who made my insides curdle.
The story Adams shares have a realism to it that is both horrifying and riveting. Her writing style compels you to read on as she brings both the characters and landscape to life. The tale flowed wonderfully and the tension built as we dare to hope with Zoe. We are presented with the tale in two parts as we travel back and forth between “Then” and “Now”. While in the then we get a better understanding of the world, the epidemic, and Zoe. We begin to understand why she has embarked on this quest to travel halfway around the world. When we are in the now we face the brutal and dark reality of the new world. Each transition was labeled, and not once did I mind traveling back and forth as I found them equally compelling. With Zoe, we travel by air, by land and sea and along the way we encounter humanity at its best and worse. Some humans were immune to the virus, but others survived and it changed them. The transformation was both fascinating and creepy! If you are familiar with the chapter of Revelations in the Bible, then the title of this book will not be lost on you. In the tale, an evangelist declares the virus is the first horse of the apocalypse, often referred to as the White Horse. Adams brought all of the threads throughout this novel together and gave me an ending that excited me, and has me anxious for the next chapter. While all of my questions were not answered, those that were wowed me and have me eager to learn more.
If you love dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels then White Horse is a must-read. This is a dark, adult novel and some parts may make you squeamish; you have been warned. Red Horse the second book will be released in August of 2013 and this reader cannot wait.
Sweet…we can wait for Red Horse together!
I LOVED this one! Seriously awesome, I’m glad I’m not alone!
Aww, I feel that way about contemporary issue novels, but love getting lost in these.
Candace's Book Blog
I have noticed that most dystopian’s and post apocalyptic books are usually a while after whatever it is that happened, not often do they show us as it’s happening. I turned this one down for review, but I think I might like it one day when I’m ready for something really dark and gritty. I had to take a step back from books like this just cause they are too real to me. I definitely see disaster coming, so I don’t really like to be reminded of it. I prepare already, but these kinds of books start freaking me out. I’m glad it was great though!
Ooo read it Kimberly!
Turning the Pages
This one has been on my tbr lis for so long! I’m glad it turned out to be such a good read!
Yes 5VCM yum! I had one today actually…it’s dark and gritty but this such a goo book.
Yes, and I cannot wait!
Ahh I remember now you had book two on WOW last week and I was wondering about the first book. Sounds gritty and scary and for some reason I think I would really like Zoe.
Zoe sounds great and that is a neat cover. Glad you enjoyed it.
Brandi @ Blkosiner’s
I just found out I am getting an ARC of Red Horse as well, so excited . Did you read the Passage?
Sharon - Obsession with Books
I haven’t heard of this book/author before now but I love a good dystopian so this one is definitely going on my TBR pile.
A fab review Kimba! Thankyou for sharing 🙂
you like zombie books and vamp books so I think you will do fine. Good luck!
I so agree! I cannot wait for Red Horse, thanks for commenting 🙂
I really loved this read too. I thought it had this really creepy tone to it and the Swiss really did freak me out at times. It was one of those reads where it can make you shudder from time to time.
Yes! Yes! Yes! You so need to read this one!
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Holy guacamole…you compare this to The Passage? I knew this sounded good from the blurb but your review has completely sold me. I’m going to have to add this to my wishist despite your warning of squeamish parts!
this was sooo good and I loved Zoe
Wow, this seems different. I am into post-apocalyptic lately, so this sounds perfect. The main characters seem like unlikely main characters too, which I like.
The Stand and the Passage are both epic tales and yes this could hold up against that.
Oh yeah Cronin rocks da house!
You had me at dystopian/post-apocalyptic… I am definitely checking this one out, especially since it’s a trilogy (YAY!) I really enjoy stories that builds tension. Those are the ones that usually make me not want to put them down. Fantastic review Kim. I can’t wait to meet Zoe and check out this world.
Steph, The Readingista
Thanks for your great review. I have White Horse for review and have been dragging my feet on reading it. I have no reason for it, except that other books kept catching my interest. I will have to read it now.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Sounds scary, and I am far from squeamish, so this sounds like great. Amazing review,.
Well cripes, I still have both Cronin books to get to, plus The Uninvited, plus..I don’t even know how many others you’ve tempted me into. Is this a little like The Stand? I don’t really know why I’m asking, since your glowing review already guarantees I’m going to add it to my buy list, but still…;)
I got this one waiting for me. I think I need to get to it sooner rather than later! Especially if you gave it 5 Macchiatos! LOL
Kimba, great review and I so agree. I was fortunate enough to review this for RT, I can’t wait for the next in the trilogy.