ARC Review: Frail

Posted September 29, 2011 by Jen in Giveaway, Paranormal YA Tags: , , ,

Today I have a special guest here at That’s What I’m Talking About. Please welcome Rum from Books in the Spotlight. Rum’s blog primarily focuses on the Young Adult genre, and she brings us today’s review of…
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: ACE
The Resurgam Trilogy #2
ISBN: #978-0441020706
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format(s): Hardcover (384 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
In a post-apocalyptic world, life is what you make it…
Since a devastating, morphing plague swept through human and zombie populations, almost everyone who survived is an “ex” these days. Ex-human. Ex-zombie. Both creatures crave flesh, have the strength and speed of predators — and what seems like immortality. Pierced skin and broken bones mend, but their all-consuming hunger never dies…
Amy is the only purely human survivor from her town — a frail. Her mother is gone, but Amy won’t believe that she’s dead. Feral dogs stalk her, in reality and in her imagination. Amy thinks she’s losing her mind. But when an ex-human named Lisa saves her life, a fragile friendship forms, a bond that will save Amy over and over again when she and Lisa are abducted into a makeshift community run by exes who use humans as their
For a girl used to going it alone, trusting anyone isn’t easy, but Amy will have to. She has secrets from her past she can’t afford to face by herself, and secrets in her future that could cost her almost everything … including her humanity.
What Rum is talking about:
Let me preface this review by saying I don’t read much contemporary horror with lots of blood, violence, and gore.  I prefer psychological horror like Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories and poems where you don’t notice how scary it is until you stop to think about it. I’m also not a zombie fan. It’s not that I hate them per se but they are not my first choice when it comes to the undead. If you’re unlike me and actually enjoy reading about zombies, Frail by Joan Frances Turner will happily take you on a horrifying and gory ride. Frail is actually a companion novel to Turner’s debut novel, Dust, but it is not necessary to read the first book in order to enjoy it.
As Frail begins, we are decades in the future where a plague destroys most of humankind along with zombies and the undead. Amy is our narrator. She is a 17-year-old frail, a human, she believes, who struggles to survive along the shores of Lake Michigan. She meets a group of undeads and zombies, some of whom don’t seem to have her best interests at heart. Actually, the zombies may not have hearts at all, as they neither bleed nor breathe but are in constant search of food to in order to satisfy their never ending hunger. Amy is a likable character. She is a fighter who is fierce when she has to be, but it’s hard when you’re fighting the undead who just won’t stay dead. While she’s physically struggling to stay alive, she is also internally battling her own demons from her past. She believes she’s done something very wrong and needs to atone for her sins. The only way Amy can cleanse her conscience is to find her mother, who she certain is still alive and escape various dangerous creatures along the way. I found myself very interested in Amy’s story and it’s what really made me want to continue to read the book, especially when I found myself losing interest.
While Turner’s writing is exceptional, I did think it was a little over-the-top with nihilistic similes and passages that were graphic and gory that I had to skim due to my sensitive stomach. Despite the action scenes that took primary focus in the second half, I found this part of the book a bit too slow. You literally lose Amy and her story when Turner infuses so many secondary characters. I had a hard time keeping track of who is who. None of the secondary characters made any impression and they didn’t stick with me after I finished the book. While some may like the plot twists along the way (and there are a few good ones), I was a bit bored with the tedious group mentality and impatiently waited until we got back to Amy’s mindset so I could find out all the sordid details of her past.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m definitely not the right reader for Frail, but I really think that fans of horror, especially of the zombie genre, will have much to like.
GIVEAWAY: I have ONE copy of FRAIL to giveaway to a lucky reader. For more information and to enter, click HERE. Contest ends on Friday September 30, 2011.