by Claire C. Riley, Madeline Sheehan
Series: Thicker Than Blood , #1
Narrator: C.J. Bloom
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
A true friendship never dies. 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… And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.
Some books just naturally translate to audio and suck the reader into their story. Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley is one such novel. Narrated by C.J. Bloom I quickly became caught up in this post-apocalyptic zombie tale and the characters within. Friendship, survival and a world that seems to have lost its humanity Thicker Than Blood will help alleviate withdrawal symptoms for fans of the Walking Dead.
Before zombies walked the Earth, Leisel and Evelyn were both happily married and the best friends. They were living in suburbia where their biggest concerns were what dish to bring to the next town picnic. Now they live in a brutal world where men rule and marshal law is in effect. All that keeps them sane is their friendship. In the dark of night, Leisel final snaps and her action will see her dead before sunrise that is until Alex, Jami and Evelyn bust her out of jail. Together they take off into the wilds leaving the sanctuary of the small town they have called home since the world collapsed. Filled with action, danger, friendship and a smidgeon of romance Thicker Than Blood takes us on their journey as they struggle for survival. The listen was intense and fascinating.
The focus was on Leisel and Evelyn and they had this whole Thelma and Louise vibe about them. Leisel is extremely broken when we first meet her, and I will be the first to claim I wanted to slap her and yell, “Snap out of it bitch!” She felt more like the first character to be killed in a B-horror movie, but then Alex said something about her strength and I realized he was right. From that moment on, I changed my attitude about her and watched as the authors allowed her to grow and become this little kick-ass. I am woman hear me roar. I loved the transformation. Evelyn, Alex and secondary characters added to the tale and I lost myself listening. At just under 12 hours, I consumed this over a two-day span listening into the wee hours and finding excuses to slip in my earbuds.
C. J. Bloom did an excellent job of narrating giving both Leisel and Evelyn clear voices. This was important since the story switches perspectives each chapter. Her male voices were especially pleasant and did not have that gruff weird tone that many female narrators give to male parts.
Thicker Than Blood was dark and twisted at times but the gore is rather low making it a listen even non-zombie fans will enjoy. Thicker Than Blood wraps up nicely despite having a slightly open ending. It appears there will be another book and I for one will be snagging it on audio.