Strain by Amelia C. Gormley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Many, many times I search for dystopian stories only to fail to find one that captures my attention. I want the sense of 'the world has ended' drama, the gritty and often dark reality that the comfortable has disappeared and survival takes a level of guts and bravery not everyone has.
Strain fulfilled every single one of those dystopian desires. We have governmental mishandling, virus-releasing, politician tumbling, society crumbling and... and.... ZOMBIES! Well, kinda. We also have superhumans that are more human than the humans they're trying to save and protect.
I'm not going to go over the plot, other to warn that there is a lot of sexual content and those who have issues with slight reluctant consent/shades of non-consent should be wary. I felt the sex, while frequent, was not gratuitous due to the integral nature of the plague/cure the plot required. There's some shades of D/s involved as well.
The world building was a little lax. I'd have liked to see more of the society and overall picture, but the microcosm of the story from the character's POV made that lack not too bad. When the world has ended, there's not like any newspaper or TV to watch to see what's going on in other countries, or even in the same country or state.
The author's writing was smooth. I was hooked from the dramatic beginning, where the main character was fighting for his life... and losing. I adored the main characters, disliked the villain and steadily grew to hate him as I was supposed to. The story wasn't exactly a surprise when it comes to events but I was forced to stay up half the night to finish it anyway. It was absolute torture... to end it! I wanted more. I will definitely be watching this author for more stories to come.
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