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Never Say Die: A Zombie Time Loop Story Kindle Edition
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|Length: 360 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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There are times in our lives in which we have all wished it were possible to go back in time and changes things. We would fix mistakes, refrain from doing certain things, and work up the courage to do others. If we could go back in time, change the thing, and then come back to the present, that would be even better. Things would, we assume, be perfect because we corrected our stupid and foolish mistakes and actions. However, I think we
would all view this a bit differently if we had to go back in time to save the world.
That is precisely what Cassandra must do in Kimberly Gould’s novel, Never Say Die. Written in first person, present tense, this YA novel follows the story of Cassandra as she fights to escape a time travelling loop. Oh, and save the entirety of mankind in the process. Cassandra is somehow in kahoots with a time traveler, and has been stuck in this perpetual loop for quite some time. She fights to find a cure for a terrible disease that turns all adults into rabid, mindless animals. Whenever she dies, she finds herself back to sitting on the beach with her parents. She then has to plan everything all over again, reconnect with her boyfriend, Heph, and get everyone on board.
When I first read the synopsis for Never Say Die, I was interested. It sounded like a mixture of the Terminator series and my beloved zombie trope. Yes, I truly have a deep love for zombies. I don’t know why, so don’t ask. This fantastic mashup idea seemed really neat, but it just didn’t seem as well-executed as it could have been. It held my interest most of the time, but the continuous loop just got really irritating after a time. When I read the very first part of the novel, I had that same irritation I get when someone decides to start their story with a “Just kidding! It was all a dream” type of thing. I cannot stand that. So, that time loop did the same thing for me.
Character development was pretty good, and Cassandra did seem to mature as things went on. Heph just stayed the same, though he seemed to take everything she said at face-value, which brings me to another point. I know this is fiction, but some sort of realism is important to make the story work and draw the reader in. I don’t know about you guys, but I would definitely call the cops (or shoot) someone who found my number, came to my house, told me a bunch of personal facts about me, and then started ranting about a virus taking over the world and the need to kill a bunch of people. She was not quite eighteen, yet, but she managed to get a cleaning job in a pharmaceutical lab? That is some crazy liability insurance that lab must have. Plus, my parents would be highly alarmed if I acted like her, and said the things she said. Especially at the end. (Not going to spoil anything). So, all of that was a really big problem for me. It just did not seem plausible in any way.
On the other hand, Gould is fantastic with descriptions. A mindless, rabid person slurping up intestines like pasta? (To paraphrase) *shudder* That was fantastically disgusting. Usually, 1st person – present is one of my least favorite tenses for fiction. It often just sounds like an ongoing interior monologue, and can ruin the emotional engagement factor. I was annoyed when I initially saw the tense, but it grew on me. It worked well, especially for a YA novel.
Overall, I would give this 3.5 out of 5 stars. I am not counting any grammar issues or things like that. If you like YA and/or apocalypse fiction, you may want to give this a shot.
A. P. Bullard,
I found the story engaging, encouraging this reader to flip to the next page just to see what happens next.
*****Potential Spoiler Alert!*****
Ms. Gould nails it as she tells a gripping tale of Cassy and Heph battling against the meat sacks (zombies).
Only, for Cassy it happens again and again, her death being the one thing she relives that seems to restart the clock. (Think Groundhog Day)
The methods she chooses to deal with it, to attempt to survive this time around, are determined by what she perceives to be her mistakes in the last round.
Each time she wakes up on the beach after having her throat ripped out by a meat sack, and every time she seems to remember what went on before, what worked and what didn't, leading her down a path that, hopefully, won't be to her detriment yet again.
There's many emotions, trials and tribulations this author makes her protagonist go through in her structured and detailed world building, each giving its own set of circumstances and detail that leads Cassy to her choices the next time around. Some of these details are pertinent to understanding why Cassy does some of the things she does. I found myself questioning her actions only to realize why shortly thereafter when something works this time around - for a short while anyway.
One thing almost always remains the same, and I liked that it did, despite attacking the issues over and over again her best friend always makes his way back to her side. The two of them may just make it out of this alive yet!
Of course, you'll have to read for yourself to see if that's the case.
There were a few minor editing issues, but nothing to really detract me from the well written and excellently executed content of the story and obviously not truly within the control of the author as this work is under a publisher. This is somewhat unfortunate but even editors are human.
I call this a highly recommended read if you're into the gore and guts of nasty zombies!
Nicely done, Ms. Gould. I do hope I will find future books of this nature from you!