Book Review: White Horse by Alex Adams

whitehorseTitle: White Horse
Author: Alex Adams
Genre: Dystopian fiction
Publisher: Atria
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher
First line: Look at me: I don’t want my therapist to think I’m crazy.

Goodreads blurb: Thirty-year-old Zoe leads an ordinary life until the end of the world arrives. She is cleaning cages and floors at Pope Pharmaceuticals when the President of the United States announces that human beings are no longer a viable species. When Zoe realizes that everyone she loves is disappearing, she starts running. Scared and alone in a shockingly changed world, she embarks on a remarkable journey of survival and redemption. Along the way, Zoe comes to see that humans are not defined by their genetic code, but rather by their actions and choices. White Horse offers hope for a broken world, where love can lead to the most unexpected places.

Alex Adams is an amazing writer. She has the gift of completely immersing the reader in the world of the book. I thought about White Horse when I wasn’t reading; I even dreamed about it. Being that involved in a book I’m reading is a rare occurrence, and when the world of the book is as bleak and dark as this one, it’s a bit unsettling.

Adams uses the convention of flipping back and forth in time from then to now. The Now sections tell of Zoe’s journey to Greece, although the reader is not sure until well into the book exactly why she wants to go there. The Then sections tell of her days leading up to the beginning of the plague, the early days of White Horse, and what ultimately prompts her to leave New York.

This book is dark. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; it has a similar feeling of unrelenting despair. I sometimes felt like I needed to close the book and watch something stupid and happy with my kids just to break up the never-ending bleakness. Because of that, I debated between a three- and a four-star rating, but ultimately the quality of Adams’ writing won me over.

I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the second book in the trilogy. The ending leaves room for a sequel, but it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger, and so I could be happy leaving Zoe where she ended. In fact, the ending was my favorite part of the book, and I’m afraid a sequel could ruin that for me. I’m not sure when book two is due out, so I have some time to decide. This is definitely a good read for fans of dystopian fiction, but be sure you can handle an unblinking look at how horribly evil the world can be.

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14 Responses to Book Review: White Horse by Alex Adams

  1. Topazshell says:

    I can’t imagine hearing that type of announcement.

  2. Very dark indeed! And I loved the killer ending!

  3. MoniqueReads
    Twitter: MoniqueReads
    says:

    This sounds like a good book and I loved The Road . Don’t you just love when you think about a book even when you are not reading it.

    To bad it is part of a Trilogy. I am trying to stay away from series until I completed the ones I have started

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Monique – I know – I get tired of being stuck in the middle of series, too – especially when we have to wait so long in between books.

  4. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion
    says:

    I haven’t read too many books that invaded my dreams but consider those that have special. I’ll have to look for this one.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Kathy – it always tells me the author has really created an exceptional world.

  5. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I’m kind of a glutton for plagues and apocalyptic stories…the darker the better! The Road was totally like swimming through muck but I’ll never forget it (and then there is the Viggo thing). I’m hoping to get my hands on this one at some point.

  6. irene says:

    I’ve read the Road also, and while it was a good book, it was so dark, I’m not anxious to read that type of book again. Thanks for your excellent review.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Irene – I definitely need to read something different after a dark book like this one.

  7. Melissa
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks
    says:

    I just recently picked this one up and can’t wait to read it…but I have to be sure that I am ready for the dark!