Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Bite (Wastelanders) Mass Market Paperback – July 26, 2016
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Bite is a full throttle, sand-in-your-eyes, no holds barred ride through a Mad Max-style wasteland where the bad guys become family. Finally, an underdog with teeth!"―Delilah S. Dawson
"In an environment that turns people into monsters, where the line between good and bad is thinner than a knife-edge, survival is the least of Kid's problems. This post-apocalyptic debut may seem to take its scenery straight from the film Mad Max, but Merbeth has created her own universe filled with destruction and not a small amount of grim, acerbic wit. Fans of Mira Grant's "Newsflesh" series will be pleased by the smart writing."―Library Journal
"Filled with dark humor, wit, and a realistic dystopian setting, Bite plays with the idea of who the good guys are in such a harsh world. Think Carl Hiaasen thriller set in a Mad Max world, and you have an idea of what to expect."―Booklist (starred review)
"A high-octane story that sinks its teeth into you and refuses to let go."―K. B. Wagers
"Merbeth's debut novel puts a unique spin on post-apocalyptic horror... Bite flips the script."―B&N
"Pure undiluted high octane anarchy ... If you enjoy movies like Mad Max: Fury Road, or games like Fallout 4 and Borderlands, then Bite is the book for you. Gleefully unrestrained and unrelenting, strap yourself in an enjoy the ride. Bite is here, let the mayhem commence!"―The Eloquent Page
About the Author
Debut author K.S. Merbeth is obsessed with SFF, food, video games, her cat and resides in northern California.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
2. Post apocalyptic fiction has a certain popularity and this feels like somebody trying to slide into that niche just to find somewhere to go.
Kid, a young woman hitchhiking her way through the irradiated ruins of Australia, accepts a ride, only to learn she’s bit off way more than she can chew. In short order, she soon finds herself a part of the gang and on the run from various forces, many of whom, unsurprisingly, don’t look to kindly at having cannibals in their midst.
The premise alone is a huge part of the draw in Bite, and I appreciated Merbeth’s wasteland saga’s focus on a group of people who are, quite arguably, the bad guys. Kid quickly makes friends with these ne’er-do-wells, led by Wolf, a dread-locked survivor with a knack for pulling off scores by the seat of his pants, and they all soon find their survival linked to one another. Dolly, a blue-haired tough, is an easy standout for fan-favorite of the bunch, with her quiet ways and easy violence making her an unsettling sort, but also an attention-grabbing mystery.
My biggest hurdle in Bite, unfortunately, was the main character herself, Kid. I prefer my female heroines to have a bit more agency, and felt that Kid too often fell into role of victim who needs saving. Granted, this is a sort of hero’s journey and she grows and adapts as the story progresses, but frankly I found it a be too unbelievable that this wasteland survivor would so freaking useless at the outset. She doesn’t know how to fire a gun or use a knife, she’s of little use in hand-to-hand fights, and despite this being an action-heavy book she spends too much time in hiding or waiting to be rescued. The first half of the book felt repetitive with its focus on members of the gang getting captured, followed by thwarted rescue attempts, and then their eventual escape only to again find themselves captured by different people in a different setting. By the time Merbeth gets around to explaining why Kid lacks any sort of adeptness or situational awareness, it feels too little too late. And, although Kid eventually levels-up, I think there were better options than starting her off as a nearly-constant damsel in distress.
Tonally, the narrative strikes an uneasy balance between serious and aloof. At times, this felt like a Young Adult title trying too hard to be a foul-mouthed, adult actioneer, and characters like The Queen only served to amplify this imbalance. The Queen is shrill and loud-mouthed, but is mostly a caricature reduced to exclaiming things like “Get them!” in lieu of villainous depth.
Narrator Stephanie Willis inhabits the role of Kid nice and smoothly, and she does a fairly good job with the reading of Bite. In my purely subjective opinion, though I found some of her male voices, particularly Wolf’s, to be a little too over-the-top for my ears, and The Queen was gratingly cartoonish, but I’ll chalk some of that role up to the writing itself. Her delivery of Tank’s and Pretty Boy’s lines, though, were well-handled and far more realistic. The voices Willis adopted for the other female voices were nicely differentiated, and she helps give a character like Dolly a certain charm that might otherwise be lost in reading the text. Bite is certainly well-produced, as one should expect of a major publisher like Hachette, and the sound quality is even and comes through cleanly with nary a hiccup.
Mostly, I enjoyed Bite, but found it a touch too uneven to really satisfy. It does recall a bit of the charm from other post-apocalyptic wasteland adventures, like the Mad Max films and the Fallout video games, and I am at least curious enough to see what this cast of characters get up to next, particularly Kid, who exhibits a lot of promise by book’s end. Besides, who doesn’t want more irradiated cannibals in their life?
[Audiobook provided for review by the audiobookreviewer dot com.]
16-year-old Kid accepts a ride from a strange-looking pair, knowing full well that she might not make it to the other side alive. The two are obviously up to something, but Kid doesn’t really care that much. She wants to be with someone for a change instead of wandering the wasteland alone. Wolfe and Dolly are soon joined by the rest of their people and Kid somehow ends up on the run with them. The fact that they are sharks (killers and cannibals) doesn’t matter much to our Kid. When they start saving her life and she starts saving theirs, she realizes she’s finally found a place to fully belong.
Bite is a bloody odyssey that follows the adventures of a cannibalistic crew in a world that’s long been dead. If you think you could never sympathize with killers and cannibals, think again. Merbeth makes them practically irresistible in no time at all, making us root for them as they jump from one crazy, impossible plan to the next. None of the characters in Kid’s gang – Wolf, Dolly, Pretty Boy, Tank or Kid herself – have any sort of history that can be shared, but Merbeth still does an excellent job with their characterization. The point is to have five people with no pasts and no names and give them enough personality to be impressive. The strength lies in their relationships (none of them romantic) and their odd sense of loyalty in a world that doesn’t tolerate kindness or kinship. They may be a group of psychos who loot and kill whenever they get a chance, but they are still human, with real feelings and friendships.
The nuclear wasteland provides a fabulous backdrop for this bloody, insane story. Wolf and his people make ludicrous plans with almost no chance of success, they set their eyes on a target (usually guns or food) and go off half-cocked and they still come out on top. Wolf himself is selfish, suicidal and often cruel, and he loves his grenades, but his occasional moments of chivalry and his odd sense of loyalty override his messed up personality.
This story is not for the squeamish or the faint-hearted, but if you enjoy stories with plenty of dark humor, unforgettable characters and a whole lot of blood and gore, this is an excellent choice for you. It’s certainly the most fun I’ve had in ages.