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White Horse: A Novel Hardcover


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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: 1.3 x 6.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,063,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

I've read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction and this book is a standout in the genre.
Jenny
Without giving too much away, I had a hard time relating to the main characters and many of the plot lines were really a stretch.
Tania L.
Sometimes you read a book like this, and it's so out there that you never have the feeling it could really happen.
Carla Ford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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7 of 7 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Badger on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a sort of dreamy, female-focused version of The Road and, while competently written, it never particularly comes together as either a dystopian genre novel or as some sort of literary allegory. The author makes no effort to really ground the action in the physics of the world she creates; our main character just sort of drifts along, magically arriving at each successive destination despite the enormous obstacles in her path. I cared about the protagonist and was interested in the events described, but not so much that each successive logic gap didn't jar me right out of the dream world.

**light spoilers ahead**

Traveling largely by herself, in a world that has been struck by a virus that has either killed or biologically altered almost every person on Earth, our heroine manages to board what is presumably one of the last working flights, a plane that is conveniently flying from the US to Italy, and successfully navigate her way, on foot, from the Italian airport to a Greek island using only a map and a compass. Huh. I don't know that most people could successfully navigate their way out of state park with only a map and a compass, let alone get halfway around the world, walk across a country, find a working ferry and locate a tiny, unfamiliar, rural village on an island they've never seen before. And all this while scavenging food, dodging hostile survivors and avoiding a psychotic stalker. What is the statistical likelihood of this happening? What is the statistical likelihood of another person doing it too? The other hugely problematic coincidence; Whom should our heroine meet in the Italian countryside, but a close relative of her own employer. Double huh. Especially considering most of the world's population is already dead.
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