Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: White Horse by Alex Adams

There's nothing worse than getting to the end of a book and reading the author bio on the back flap of the dust jacket to find out what you thought was over has just begun, that it's the beginning of a trilogy.

There's nothing better than finding out a story will continue, that it's the beginning of a trilogy.

There are few serial novels that have sparked my interest as much as Alex Adams's White Horse. In short, it's Alex Adams's debut novel and the book is good. The girl can write. No doubt about that, not after being lured into accompanying Zoe on her journey through the landscape of hell and out the other side into a whole new kind of Gehenna.

Zoe is a reluctant heroine, a Pandora who resists the urge to open the box full of disease and pain and loss -- and the gentle spark of hope at the bottom of the jar. She begins by seeking help from a therapist, Nick Rose, who is attractive and dark. Zoe can resist opening the ancient sealed jar in her apartment as easily as she resists Nick's charms. She is a girl with a mission, a janitor working for a pharmaceutical company so she can afford to go to college and get a better education so she will have a better life. Hers is a life on hold while she keeps her eyes on the future, a future that quickly slips through her grasp.

Zoe's colleagues, friends, and family die one by one as a disease cooked up in some lab and dubbed White Horse by a southern minister decimates the population, leaving 90% of the world dead and the remaining 10% either immune or genetically changed into abominations. Zoe is immune, although why she is immune is anybody's guess, and there is no one left to strap her to a table and dissect her to find out.

What begins with an ordinary woman on an ordinary day quickly becomes a juggernaut that barrels through the barren landscape of the present while trying to find meaning from the past. White Horse isn't talented, it's brilliant in concept and execution. Alex Adams has hit on something that could be lurking around the corner waiting to pounce tomorrow or next year and woven a spell of seductive power that has long, strong legs.

And there's a website with all kinds of goodies just waiting to be devoured until the 2nd installment of this promising trilogy is released.

I can hardly wait.

That's the problem with trilogies -- waiting.

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