Narrated by: Emma Galvin, January LaVoy, Zachary Webber
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: 9 Hours 38 Minutes
Publication date: October 1st 2013
My rating: 4.5 stars
When the world ends, can love survive?
For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.
When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.
Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?
Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
I’ve always been a fan of zombie stories, and usually they’re told in an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world type scenario, and I’ve always been attracted to those types of tales. Not sure exactly what about them that appeals to me, but part of it is the challenges faced in the fight to survive. Red Hill was a thrilling, personal story that brought out a mix of emotions, and I enjoyed every second of it!
Red Hill was the zombie apocalypse told from three perspectives: Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda.
Scarlet is a divorced single mother desperately trying to find her two daughters after all hell broke loose. She was separated from her girls when they go to spend the weekend with their father and she drives off to work. Scarlet has one mission, one goal, and that is to reunite with her daughters and find someplace safe to hole up. I felt a keen connection to Scarlet as a mother and could easily relate to the desperate determination she felt trying to find her girls. I was rooting for her success and biting my nails nervously at every turn. Scarlet was incredibly brave and one tough lady, and I admired her even when I didn’t completely agree with some of her decisions in the end. Would I make the same choices, knowing it endangered my life or those around me? Maybe. Probably.
Nathan, a recently abandoned husband and father to seven-year old, Zoe is scrambling to find a safe haven after the outbreak with his daughter in tow. He was stuck in a loveless marriage and trying hold everything together for his daughter who has special needs. I don’t think her condition was ever named but she might have had Asperger’s syndrome. I felt his depression and sad resignation at his situation as the story began, but all that changed with the outbreak. Ironically, the apocalypse sort gave Nathan a new lease on life, and I was hoping he’d get a happy ending. Even though romance wasn’t the focus of this story I was hoping that Scarlet and Nathan would connect and I wasn’t disappointed.
Miranda starts the story as a college student escaping for a weekend away with her sister and their boyfriends, and then a run for their lives when the situation becomes crazy. They were on their way to her father’s weekend home, Red Hill to spend time with him and now they can’t get there fast enough. My heart broke for her and her boyfriend, Bryce at the situation they find themselves in when the get to Red Hill.
We get the end of the world told from each Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda’s personal perspectives, and I loved how their stories overlapped each other until they all come to the same point: Red Hill. Their struggles, emotional and otherwise felt real and made a zombie apocalypse feel very possible.
This is not the first story I’ve read and enjoyed of Jaime McGuire’s, but I was surprised Red Hill was so completely different from Beautiful Disaster. Being able to switch from one genre to another and still manage to tell a moving story really impressed me.
I listened to the audio version of Red Hill, and I highly recommend it. There were three different narrators: January LaVoy as Scarlet had an appealing, low, sultry voice, and the determination and sincerity as a mother on a mission came through loud and clear with her performance. Zachary Webber as Nathan did an amazing job conveying his depression in the beginning, and boy was his voice ever sexy! Emma Galvin as Miranda sounded age perfect: fresh, plucky and strong. I thought each did a brilliant job!