Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: The Plague by Lisa C. Hinsley

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I received this book for free from Pocket Star in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Plague by Lisa C. HinsleyThe Plague by Lisa C. Hinsley
Published by Pocket Star on December 9th 2013
Genres: Adult, Horror
Source: Pocket Star
Buy on Amazon

In this enthralling debut thriller written in the vein of Contagion, a young couple struggles to save their plague-stricken son as they desperately fight back against a tyrannical government.

A new strain of the bubonic plague is diagnosed in London. Before it can be contained it spreads through the population, faster and deadlier than anyone could have imagined. Three weeks is all it takes to decimate the country.

Johnny and Liz are devastated when their young son, Nathan, starts to show symptoms, but Liz phones the authorities anyway, and a few hours later the army arrives and boards up their house.

Now Nathan is dying and there is nothing they can do to help him. Hours pass like weeks as their little boy grows weaker and weaker. All Liz wants is for them to die with some dignity, but the authorities refuse to help. Then their Internet and phones stop working. Cut off from the world and stuck inside their house, the family tries its best to cope-but there is nothing they can do to stop the lethal epidemic.

I guess I should have expected it, but Plague was a lot more… grossly detailed and harder to read than I expected – and not in a good way. I knew I was in for a heartbreaking read, but this is really nothing but a short story of a family’s harsh misfortunes during a plague epidemic. Which, I admit, sounds like it could be a good read, except it was simply too… graphic. Too quick of a disturbing tale and not enough depth to balance it. It’s an explicit story of a dying family. Period. We don’t ever get out of this boarded up house to see how the world is fairing other than just the knowledge that everyone is dying. The few technical details we do get are fuzzy at best. If the whole world is in the same situation, I doubt a doctor would have time for house visits, let alone bother wrapping up “most” of a house in plastic. Is that supposed to keep the plague from spreading? Should we tell the bacteria that that one open window is off limits?

But really, if you seriously want to see a family die from the plague – and I mean play by plays of diarrhea, vomiting, and maggots eating their baby’s face (not effing kidding!), just use Google images, yeah? Yes it will be as gross as this book. Also, you may need professional help. I know I surely want some to get these images out of my head. It’s been a week since I finished reading this book and I still get grossed out by some of the mental images that will surely never leave my mind. If you’re a parent – though even if you’re not – you do not want to read story about a child suffering like this. A child that would rather die than keep being in such agonizing pain. I’m sorry but I just can’t deal with that. I wanted to DNF it very badly in several instances but I was also curious at how the author had decided to end this one. I was disappointed by that, too, not surprisingly. For one I had completely seen it coming fairly early on. And secondly it was a tad forced to give us that “ray of hope” or whatever.

As far as everything else. The characters are not exactly realistic nor likeable. The mother spends more time arguing with herself or having sex in the shower instead of being with her dying son – sleeping or not. As a mother I cannot fathom being able to function or think about anything else if I was in that situation. The father was just irritating, plain and simple. The writing was not my favorite, either. I felt it was choppy at times and lacked the emotional depth that this story deserved. So instead of being emotional, I was simply nauseous by the sheer horrifying nature of it all.

This book may have traumatized me.

Excuse me while I go hurl.

1 Cold Espresso

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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27 Responses to “Review: The Plague by Lisa C. Hinsley”

  1. Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy

    Wow, you seriously brought this horrible story to life in a few words and now I’m thinking about maggots and babies faces!! Seriously, I love horror but there has to be some good stuff and hopefullness balanced along with all the bad.

  2. Aylee

    Uhhh yeah… I think I’ll skip this one. I read a ton of dystopians and post-apocalyptics that are super depressing and sometimes gross, but the one thing that keeps me going is the inclusion of hope at some point in the story. A book like this that is just completely depressing about a family with no hope… no thanks. I’m into survival stories, not dying stories. And certainly not maggots-eating-babies-faces stories. It sucks that you had to go through reading this, Giselle – at least you know that your review will turn other people away, so it’s for the greater good!

  3. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun

    Oh yikes! That crosses a line for me – I’m okay with some fairly graphic scenes, but they have to be accomplishing something for the story. Sounds like this was just brutal instead. I’m surprised you stuck with it, I couldn’t have! And I liked the sounds of the book – probably would have checked it out, so thanks for the great review!

  4. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    I can deal with grotesque imagery most of the time, but this: “diarrhea, vomiting, and maggots eating their baby’s face” is a definite NO. It makes me feel nauseous just thinking about it. O_O I hadn’t heard of this book before, but I’m glad that you’ve saved me from ever considering it in the future. I hope you next read is better for you – and I imagine that won’t be too difficult!

  5. Kristin@Blood,Sweat and Books

    Oh I loved this book when I read it last year. Yes it is explicit but I think that is sorta what made it standout as well. I’m wondering if the story has changed since I read it but it sounds like the guts (no pun intended) have stayed the same. Sorry you didn’t love this one.

    • Emily

      Whoops, half my 3 quarters of my comment got wiped out! >< But I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you had to go through such an experience… The graphic details would probably scare me enough, especially the ones with maggots… NASTY. Yuck. And I can't imagine that a mother could be like that! I would never ever do that to my child… HORRIBLE. Sorry you had to go through that Giselle, and I do hope something better comes your way!! <33

  6. Pili

    A book about a family dying of a plague with such graphic descriptions? Thank you, but no thank you. I have enough grossness at work without adding to it on my spare time. Thank you for the warning, Giselle!

  7. Savannah

    Gross! Not sure if I like this book. And as far as the mother…anytime my son is sick, I drop everything for him. I can’t imagine doing anything else is he is…yeah, I don’t even want to think about that.

  8. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    I don’t mind gruesome details or gore scenes, but this sounds TOO much. Ugh, I don’t think I would have been able to finish it – and how disappointing that the ending wasn’t worth it after all.

  9. Neyra

    I’m not a mother, but I have a niece whom I take care of and adore. I’d be devastated if anything happened to her! To know that the mother goes off to argue with herself and have sex? really?? I’m staying away from this one, it sounded good, but.. no thanks! Love your honesty Giselle!

  10. Wendy Darling

    Um, EW. Ewwwwww! This sounds disgusting. I am sort of morbidly fascinated by viruses and stuff (I love THE HOT ZONE and survivalist stories and so on and so forth), but…this sounds extreme, without other rewarding things to balance them out.

    Did you like NOT A DROP TO DRINK, btw? This book’s synopsis reminds me of that for some reason. Everyone seems to love it, but I thought it was just okay.

    • Giselle

      Yes I really enjoyed Not a Drop to Drink. I loved the atmosphere and character building but it was not a fast paced, intense read so I doubt everyone would love it. This one was nothing like it though. It was also so short that I would even consider it a short story over a novel. GR says 200 pages but I would say it’s more like 150. (It was 90 on my Kobo)