I first learned about this book at the Philip K. Dick awards. It was nominated this year and they read a part of it. I really liked what I heard, and it was actually my second favorite of the six they read that night. It lost the award to The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, which I haven’t read yet, but plan to.
Reapers is a an amazing zombie story, filled with gruesome scenes and blood squirting gore. But more than anything the best thing about Reapers is the deep emotional connection that the writer creates to the protagonist. The writing is superb and I loved it, despite the fact that the novel is written in present tense. I normally run shrieking away from all present tense novels, and this is the first one that I have ever liked. I think that is due to the incredible skill of writer, Alden Bell.
It’s a story about a girl named Temple who has grown up in this zombie post apocalypse world, where the slugs and mutants rule, and humanity is a scrabbling minority barely surviving and struggling to take back their world. Temple has survived on her own so long that she doesn’t trust too many people, and although life has made her tough and hard, she finds it difficult to shirk responsibility for others. She thinks of herself as evil because of the things she’s had to do, but really she is better than most of her fellow human beings who instead of banding together, in a lot of cases are turning on themselves.
I loved this book, but I ran into a couple plot choices that I personally didn’t enjoy. I can’t go into the details without spoiling the book. I still like it despite those choices, and recommend it to anyone who likes zombie stories or scifi. It is zombie genre evolved and grown up. A serious book about what makes people tick inside.