Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Synopsis: In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government’s emergency protocols are faltering.
Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie’s husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie too, was bitten. Natalie’s only chance for survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to get a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and her unborn child.
Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink.
Paul Tremblay once again demonstrates his mastery in this chilling and all-too-plausible novel that will leave readers raving through the pages…and shake them to their core.
I sometimes wonder about this enormous masochistic streak I have and if I need professional help. I mean why else would I request a book about a pandemic in the middle of a pandemic? But in my defense, I love Paul Tremblay, so how could I resist. One reason why I think Tremblay is a great horror writer is because usually you’re left thinking at the end of one of his novels: “Damn! That could really happen!” His upcoming novel, Survivor Song is one of those.
This is not your typical zombie apocalypse novel, as the virus here is similar to rabies, except instead of weeks for someone who’s been bitten to start exhibiting symptoms, it can take under an hour. There’s actually this running riff throughout the story that has multiple characters explaining that victims are not zombies. Tremblay is also not known for happily-ever-afters, but that didn’t stop me from hoping for some sort of miracle for Natalie. I loved both her and Ramola and the close friendship they shared. Except for two teenage boys that provide a bit of comic relief as well as proving themselves quite helpful to Natalie and Ramola, there aren’t any other characters that really standout. But that’s okay because it’s the two women who the reader connects with as they share their inner most thoughts through their nightmarish road trip. I thought the ending was a smidge chaotic, but overall Survivor Song is sure to be another hit for Paul Tremblay. If you love strong, character-driven horror, I guarantee you’ll love this. It will immediately pull you in and not let go until you’ve reached the very last page.