Whoa! It feels like just two days ago I posted a review on Insidious!
Well, I’m back again with another review! I’d thought I’d be bringing you the review on Survivors: Secrets but over the weekend I got hooked on a new book that was suggested to me and couldn’t put it down until I finished it late last night! I almost couldn’t hold my eyes open by the time I was finished reading it. I did finish Survivors: Secrets and you will all get to hear my review on that one later! But for now, can we talk about the genius that is Fatal by T.A. Brock? Thanks for your understanding.
Grayson Patch hasn’t been human since he was seventeen years old… and that was nineteen years ago. When he rose from the dead, he had no memory of his former life. Grayson desperately wants to recapture his lost humanity. And he’s been told that there is one person in this world who can save him from his current fate before he begins to decompose. One person, whose life must be sacrificed for his.
Cori Abbott has a million things to worry about. She’s the new girl in a school that’s a fraction the size of her old one. Her antisocial tendencies are crippling her ability to make new friends. And then there’s the recent, sudden death of her father, the only man who ever understood her. The last thing Cori wants is the attention of a strange, withdrawn, and consistently angry guy who seems to hate her for no apparent reason. A guy she can’t stop thinking about.
Will Cori break through Grayson’s cold exterior and find the human within, the boy who can love and understand her like no other? Will Grayson sacrifice Cori to rid himself of his undead curse, even if it means losing her forever?
Whoa! So there must be some pretty major questions going through your heads at this point. Namely:
- Who is Grayson Patch?
- What happened to Cori’s father?
- Sacrifice?! What the heck does that mean?!
- And DECOMPOSE?! What!!!???
Well, those were the questions that jumped into my mind, anyway. At first glance, I wouldn’t have said that the synopsis was even that homicidal (killer, for those of you who are new to my blog and weird descriptions), but those were the questions that came to mind for me.
It actually took me reading a couple of reviews before I figured out what the whole decompose thing meant. And then it made perfect sense.
Grayson is a zombie.
He’s a ZOMBIE. No, not just someone who’s come back to life after being dead a few minutes or someone hooked on his phone or absorbed in television ― HE’S A REAL LIVE ACTUAL ZOMBIE! And he’s the hero of our story.
That alone was enough to make me do a double take. I’ve never read a book where the zombie was the good guy, and the only movie I’ve seen like that was Warm Bodies, and even then that was still Hollywood’s version of
the mumbling, groaning, shuffling zombies. Grayson is nothing like that. He looks perfectly normal ― when he’s hydrated, anyway ― and doesn’t want to eat brains or live human flesh or anything like that. On the outside, Grayson is just like any other person.
Except … he’s not.
Okay, here’s the things you need to know about the zombies in Fatal:
- They have to stay hydrated. This is the most important thing to note! If a zombie goes too long without water, he starts to look dead! They get these water cramps, their eyes turn weird colors, and their skin turns paper thin.
- They eat raw animal meat ― but they buy it from the grocery store. Pretty normal, right?
- A zombie can be turned by massive amounts of zombie blood in their systems or by a contagious zombie biting them.
- A zombie that has reached the “Age of Death” or the “Age of Deterioration” is a contagious zombie.
- The zombies are also known as Dead Walking or Risers (my personal favorite… you’ll find out why if you read my book…)
- The zombies are governed by the oldest of the zombies ― the Oracles. They also have a police force called the Reapers.
- Each zombie has one “Save” ― a human that is supposed to be the zombie’s salvation, their chance at happiness … if they sacrifice their Save‘s life.
Well, I think that covers the basics about the zombies in Fatal.
Oh, yeah. And they’re gorgeous. But I’m not complaining…
Grayson has been waiting for his Save to show up for years, and when she finally does, he immediately feels a connection to her (can you say insta-love?!) but he thinks she’s completely pathetic (YES! Good! Reality kicking in here.) and is immediately furious that this girl (Cori) is supposed to be his Save. How will she ever pass the tests his sister said the Oracles are supposed to administer?
At first, Grayson is just mad. He’s angry and he doesn’t want anything to do with her. But then he begins to become intrigued by her. He doesn’t like her necessarily, in fact I think he still hated her, but he was interested in her. But all that changed when Aiken came into the situation.
Aiken is a Reaper! What is he doing in the little town of Asher? Reapers are supposed to watch out for “Live Eaters,” zombies that are more Hollywood’s style. They prey on the living humans and either try to eat them or turn them, then eat them! Crazy, right?
Okay, spoiler over.
Cori is instantly attracted to Grayson; she can’t help it! Yeah, he’s got a sucky attitude, he’s a total jerk, and he acts like he hates her ― and life itself! ― but she keeps trying to help him. Then she catches a glimpse of him in the middle of a water cramp and … what?! Why did he look almost dead?
I don’t think I can say anything about the storyline in good conscience, knowing you’ll probably figure out what happens in the story before you can even read it, so that’s all I’m going to say on the overall story.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Well, as always, let’s start with the good!
The fact that the male lead was a flipping zombie was unique in itself, which I loved! I never imagined myself reading a zombie book where the zombie was actually dashing and handsome and the female character was in love with him but I loved it! TA Brock was a genius with her creative descriptions, brilliant characteristics, and unique attributes, especially when it came to the zombies.
They were so complex. The zombies have a freaking police force?! And the whole thing about them needing water to stay looking alive was … well, brilliant. She really didn’t write about zombies, she created her own creatures and just mimicked them after the walking dead ― and even then, it was only a little! The only real similarity between Hollywood’s zombies and the Risers of Fatal was that they were both infected, died, and rose again. Instead of being morbid, devilish creatures, though, they were brilliant! One of Grayson’s adopted siblings was an EMT and his sister, Raina, was a computer graphics designer!
TA’s writing was … well, for lack of better words, riveting and real. You could feel every emotion the character was feeling. You knew why Grayson hated being a zombie, you knew why Cori was sad, you felt for Raina and Grayson at times, and you even began to understand Aiken. Ms. Brock seems to have a way of making the reader believe they’re in a world where zombies thrive under the guise of normalcy and humans are sacrificed for a zombie’s happiness.
Because all good things must come to an end, let’s go over some of the … less appealing aspects of the book.
You’re probably thinking I’m going to start this segment off with a note about how there was insta-love but you know what? I can’t bring myself to hate it. It actually worked. There was supposed to be a connection between a zombie and his/her Save. They were supposed to feel drawn to them. It was how it worked. So insta-love? It was kind of necessary.
So that’s not a part of the bad. What is a part of this segment is the bad case of Missing-Mother Syndrome, also known as Disappearing-Parent-Itis, but instead of Cori’s mom being present in the beginning of this book, SHE’S JUST NONEXISTENT! You see her once, maybe twice, but that’s it. We don’t even really reference her. Whenever Cori is home, she just lays on her couch and watches TV. Only once did she write a note and leave it for her hard-working nurse-mom on the counter.
While on the note of Cori’s home, I feel obligated to add that CORI HAS NO LIFE OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL. Literally, all Cori does is go to school and go home. Go to school and go home. Occasionally, she’ll do something in the cemetery, which is Grayson’s primary hang out (who would’ve guessed?) but for the most part she is just a loner.
I think that may be my main complaint about the story. Or one of them, anyway. It was all about the relationship between Cori and Grayson. Don’t get me wrong, they were awesome, but TA Brock got me excited about some action stuff that seemed to be coming in the future and when it didn’t …. I was disappointed.
Moving right along and going off that topic, we are constantly told throughout the book that there are Live Eaters up north of Asher. It’s why Aiken was in Asher in the first place. As a Reaper, he was supposed to check it ou
. They even take Grayson’s brother, Leiv, in for questioning to see if it could be him, since he was so close to the Age of Deterioration. Unfortunately, we never see hide nor hair of these Live Eaters! So it sort of felt like it was just a distraction. I’m hoping TA brings them in in the second book (if there is going to be a sequel… there’d better be…).
This little section is for those of you who want to know:
“It’s a zombie book, right? So … is it creepy? Freaky? Utterly disgusting?”
No, no, and no. Okay, now at the end you might be tempted to go, “Ew…” but apart from that, it’s not scary or creepy or utterly disgusting so trust me, you’ll be fine. And even if there was ugly stuff in Fatal, Grayson’s gorgeousness would be enough to ward it away.
So there you have it, folks! Fatal by TA Brock. She has the prequel already released (Brutal) but I’m more interested in the sequel, thank you very much. I’m hoping it’ll come out soon! She’s already given it a name!! Lethal. Check out her website to learn more.
And yeah, yeah, I know I promised you a review on Survivors: Secrets and I’ve kind of been putting it off ― but not on purpose ― but it’s the next book on my list to review!
What’s on your bookshelf?