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White Horse: A Novel Hardcover – April 17, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: White Horse
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books; First Edition edition (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451642997
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451642995
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,076,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Adams’ fantasy is brilliant! It’s McCarthy’s The Road on hope steroids. Adams’ narrative is the prose of the world’s destruction, beautiful yet horrible. Her amazing characters are full of both hope and hopelessness in the face of death—and worse. This is what apocalyptic fiction will aspire to be from now on.” (RT Book Reviews)

“Adams has an excellent sense of timing, delivering gasp-inducing moments that punctuate her nightmare with verve. But it’s Zoe’s clear-eyed sense of self-preservation that will keep readers waiting for Adams’ follow-up.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Written with such skill and confidence that it sits easily in the pantheon of post-apocalyptic thrillers alongside the likes of Justin Cronin and Stephen King. . .The first installment in a bold new trilogy, White Horse is the perfect start to a series that promises to both terrify and thrill.” (Bookpage)

“Kept me up way too late at night, avidly racing to the thrilling end.” (Kaye George, Suspense Magazine)

“Alex Adams' debut, White Horse, is the first in a brilliant trilogy which will no doubt be ranked among the great fantasy novels.” (The Huffington Post Blog)

“It draws to a compelling pause, with a pair of revelations in the final pages that should spur readers to a sequel. Adams has fashioned a macabre landscape in which she explores fundamental questions about what it means to be human, with a compelling protagonist and narrator as our guide.” (The Oregonian)

“A cat-and-mouse tale of murder and pursuit . . . Adams' debut novel adds another dimension to dystopian fiction.” (Library Journal)

“Suspenseful, fast-paced, and boasting solid character development, this is a much better than average post-apocalyptic novel.” (Booklist)

“Alex Adams delivers a beautifully written page-turner that brings new life to post-apocalyptic fiction and the hero’s journey. I couldn’t stop reading, and couldn’t stop wondering what I would do in the world of White Horse. Gorgeously, unrelentingly, dark and gripping.” (Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters)

“The new Hunger Games.” (Grazia (UK))

“Compulsive.” (Sunday Telegraph (UK))

“A wonderful debut . . . A strong outing for the first book of a trilogy. I am anxiously awaiting the next two.” (Bookaholique)

“Alex Adams’ writing brought this post-apocalyptic tale vividly to life.” (Popcornreads.com)

“This book does not disappoint. It was absolutely incredible.” (Marked by Books)

“Alex Adams’ debut novel, White Horse, is a riveting look at future where the world has ended, and what humans become afterwards.” (Examiner.com)

“A hugely horrifying and emotional apocalyptic novel. White Horse is massively gripping . . .The narrative is perfectly paced: ‘then’ chapters drip-feed enough information to keep us reading without revealing the disease’s origin, and the ‘now’ telling a tense tale of survival. Pregnant Zoe is a fantastic lead.” (SciFiNow)

“Dark, gritty, and eerily real. [Adams] immediately captured my attention with her riveting world-building and her raw, fleshed out characters.” (Caffeinatedbookreviewer.com)

“By far the most accomplished book I’ve encountered this year . . . White Horse will haunt you long after you close the back cover.” (Portland Book Review)

About the Author

Alex Adams was born in Auckland, New Zealand. She lived in Greece and Australia before settling in Portland, Oregon. In between moving continents, Alex received a BA from the University of New England in Armidale, Australia and went on to teach English as a Second Language.

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Customer Reviews

Zoe is a good, strong lead character.
Steven Brandt @ Audiobook-Heaven
Their suffering was too contrived, much of the action was predictable, and the ending was too pat.
Timothy Haugh
Remarkable, outstanding talent in writing and story telling!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Spier on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Others have done a synopsis of the plot, so I'll leave that out of my review. There probably are still semi-spoilers though.

I'm not sure what to say about White Horse. Was the writing good? It was decent, even though there were entirely too many similes and metaphors for my comfort and at times the writing verged on pretentious . (Seriously - metatarsals instead of toes?) Were the characters interesting? Yes. Did I care about them? Not in the least.

It was just such a dark and disturbing tale, with bits and pieces that left you going "Say what?" at various points, that I found the novel nearly impossible to finish. Yet it's hard to pin down exactly why.

For instance -the jar. A metaphor for Pandora's box? A way to get Zoe involved with Nick? A symbol for humanity? Presented first as a dream, then as reality, it simply made no sense in the context of the novel.

The sub-plot with Lisa - pregnant and then not? Was Lisa just yet another way for Lisa to show that she hasn't lost her compassion and humanity?

If 90% of the population died quickly, why the difficulty in scrounging for food?

Why was the Swiss so damned insistent on killing everyone he ran across? If he wanted Zoe, he could have taken her at any point. A lot of those scenes felt like filler - something to make the book longer and to make the Swiss appear more evil and Zoe more noble.

Add in a near-mythological trip through Italy and Greece to find Nick and things wind up seriously muddied along the way. I did finish the book, however I did so only to discover the twist at the end that other reviewers had spoken about. Otherwise, I would have tossed the book aside at about the 50% mark.

This is the first in a trilogy. Will I read the rest? No.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By MyBookishWays on April 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm not quite sure what I expected when I started reading White Horse, but I sure didn't expect to get sucked in so much that I stayed up until 3am to finish it. Yeah, it's that good. Why is that good? Well, let's start at the beginning. Zoe Marshall seems to be your typical single, slightly aimless, 30 year old, cleaning floors at a pharmaceutical company while sympathizing with the lab rats and planning to attend college in the near future. When she comes home one day and finds a white jar in her apartment (that she didn't put there), things start to get very, very scary. People are getting sick, and Zoe's friends are dying. Environmental wars are brewing, and a plague is spreading, and if it doesn't kill you, it just might change you, in terrifying ways...

White Horse goes from Then and Now flawlessly, and told in Zoe's voice, offers one of the most chilling looks into a post apocalyptic future that I've ever read. As Zoe journey's across the world to find the man she loves, the secret of the plague's origins is unfolded (slowly and expertly), while at the same time a ruined landscape unfolds in a weather ravaged new world. You'll feel every chill, every shudder, that Zoe feels, and you won't be able to peel your eyes from the pages.

Alex Adams writing is lyrical, vivid, and chilling, and her observations on human nature are spot on. Zoe struggles to maintain her humanity in an environment that doesn't exactly foster warm and fuzzy feelings. There are things waiting in the shadows, things that used to be human, and Zoe is never safe. As steeled for survival that she is, however, she never loses sight of her compassion and her desire to help others.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By NoThankYou on March 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of books in my time and I think I have a very open mind when it comes to fantasy/paranormal/horror or whatever genre this book is trying to adhere to but there have been only TWO books that I have ever felt compelled to write a review for due their abysmal lack of anything noteworthy. Side note - As terrible as this book was (I almost expected something of this caliber to be self-published) it still doesn't top Dean Koontz's Breathless. That was the first and only (so far) book I've ever thrown across the room upon completion. But I digress. What's wrong with this book you might ask? In sum, it suffers from the worst plot structure I have ever seen. The plot jumps from 'before' to 'present' sections every two or three pages. If 'Memento' and 'Flash Forward' had a bastard child, this would be it. Moving beyond that, the plot seems constricted by what almost seems to be a story composed completely from an outline, the end result of which was a progression of events that left absolutely zero breathing room for letting the novel develop. And there was enormous potential here. I think that's what bothers me the most. One dimensional characters, 'absurd coincidences' as one reviewer studiously notes, a convoluted mess of mutant creatures, a pointless war, and a pandemic that seems like a bad joke (one minor character actually shoots herself in the head after sneezing - literally). I tried to give this a chance, I really did. But when the first chapter starts off with the incestuous rape scene of a young girl (purely for shock value it would seem) one has to wonder it there's any more substance to this than meets the eye. There isn't. Don't be fooled by the four and five star reviews - I'm still left in the dark as to how there are so many of those (friends, family maybe?). If so, you aren't doing the author any favors by promoting this. Not at all.
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