Thursday, November 30, 2017

BOOK REVIEW | Plague Land by Alex Scarrow

Title: Plague Land
Author: Alex Scarrow
Series? Yes, a duology (I think!)
Pages: 384
Publication Date: December 1, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: I received a galley of Plague Land via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
Leon and his younger sister Grace have just moved to London from New York when news of an unidentified plague begins to fill the news.

Within a week the virus hits London. People in the streets turn to liquid before their eyes, and what follows is a frantic hunt for a safety which may no longer exist.

A new gripping series from Alex Scarrow.

Plague Land is the first book in a new series by Alex Scarrow. It's published by Sourcebooks Fire, which is a publisher I really like! I normally love whatever they publish, but unfortunately, Plague Land really missed the mark for me. 

Plague Land follows Leon and Grace, two teenagers who try to survive while a disease ravages the world. The fight to survive, and meet many people, good and bad, while on the run.

Due to the premise of the book, I really thought I was going to like it! I haven't read a post-apocalyptic book in a while, so I thought it would be a nice change of pace. Like I mentioned before, I really didn't like the book for the most part. 

Plague Land dragged for the first 40 percent or so. Instead of the disease happening right away, we're introduced to this boring life of Leon's, and I honestly couldn't care. I wanted to see action! Instead, we got Leon basically introducing every important character and info-dumping everyone's interpersonal relationships. There's a way to set up characters, but this was not it. 

After the plague actually happened, the book picked up for me! I was actually starting to enjoy myself at first. Then, the plague idea became less and less thrilling. Leon and Grace would find themselves in life-threatening experiences, and I would not be worried for them. They always got out without a scratch. After this happened a couple times, all the thrills were abolished. 

I also did not care for the narration at all. It's told in third person, which I personally think is a mistake. The narration made me feel very detached from the characters, which really didn't help things when the book was becoming redundant. I didn't feel any type of sympathy for the characters. And the thing is, I didn't hate them either. I was just apathetic and detached, which is the worst. 

The narration I did like was the third person POV of the disease. This was a really cool tidbit to have, and they were the chapters I liked the most. It worked for the disease because the plague thinks collectively. Instead of each cell having their own unique thoughts, they all had one mission, so third-person POV made sense and worked well. 

Another thing that I did like was the idea of the disease. I don't want to say what it is per say, but it was very inventive. If this plague were to break out in real life, it would wreak havoc everywhere. It was morbidly fascinating to think about. It's unfortunate that I wasn't ever scared for the characters, because I would be absolutely terrified in real life. 

The last fifteen percent of the book was very strong. There is a massive twist that is hinted at a bit, but I did not pick up on it. The way that the events played out was disturbing, and what I was wanting the whole entire book. The ending almost convinced me to continue with the series (when it comes out, that is), but when think about all my other problems, I just can't do it. If you do plan on reading this and are pushing to the end, I would say that it is worth it. I wish the whole book was done as well as the ending, because it would have been a four star read for me.  

Unfortunately, Plague Land really didn't work for me. I couldn't connect with the characters, so I never was worried for them. The book wasn't thrilling for me, and I felt as if the plot became redundant. I did think the disease itself was inventive, and the last fifteen percent of the book was captivating. However, I won't be continuing on with the series.

With that, I give this book
2 out of 5 Stars! 

Have you read anything by Alex Scarrow? What did you think? Are you planning on picking up Plague Land?

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

*Plague Land is out tomorrow, so go and get your copy if you want!*


  1. Too bad! I like books like this, disaster-type stories, but I think the characters would bug me - how many close calls can two people have?

    1. Exactly! Eventually, something happens, but they get out of a lot of situations for 80-90% of the novel. I couldn't handle it after a while!

  2. Dang, it's always so disappointing when the characters come out of every single life-threatening situation unscathed. Not to sound morbid, but something should happen! I'm really interested with this plague concept, though! I'm glad to hear you thought that part was good; getting the inciting incident right in a disaster book is key. I'm kind of torn on whether I want to read this; I'm like you and I get so annoyed with the constant luck but I really want to know about this disease! Maybe sometime when my TBR isn't so astronomically large. Lovely review, Genni!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. They don't come unscathed, but they do end up living every time! I mean, there's millions of creatures and they are two humans, so it made no sense that they got out of about 5 dilemmas! The disease is really well done! If you do pick it up, let me know! I would be interested in your thoughts! Thanks Laura! :)

  3. I hope you guys give it a go. In books 2/3 Leon Grace and Freya face the virus as it 'evolves'. - Alex (author of Plague Land)

    1. Thank you Alex for stopping by and being so polite! I'm sorry that Plague Land didn't work for me, but the book did improve for me as I read along! I'm looking forward to reading more of your works. :)

  4. I read the book and to be honestly the first part was my favorite. Towards the end of the book I got really confused and wasn't all that happy at the ending and I didn't really like how it had so much science behind it. Those science parts bored me as a teen reading this.

    1. I understand where you are coming from! That's what I love about books though - everything is so subjective! While I liked the science-y parts, another reader (like you!) won't enjoy them as much. I will say one thing though, if you don't like the science parts in this, I would steer clear of The Martian by Andy Weir. It's very science-based and it gets pretty confusing!