Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Megan Boley: The Darkness All Around Us

In her debut novel Megan Boley explores what happens when you give a pharmaceutical company too much power:

Pharmmatrox was on the cutting edge of medical science, they had created incredible drugs that were supposed to save the world, no on would ever get sick again. But instead of curing people, they created an additive drug called Dust, that eventually turns the user into a zombie like creature.  Stella is just trying to survive and keep her promise to find her friends before people started turning on mass. But Stella has a few problems, no only is she a user of Dust she is also on the run from a woman who is hunting her believing she is the reason why there are turned in the first place. Stella knows her time is running out in more ways than one and she has to try and find her friend and hopefully do some damage to the company that caused this in the first place.

When I read the premise of this book, I knew it was one that i would want to read. I am all for books where there are morally grey characters, and when the book is presented as Dark and Gritty. I have not read a zombie based book in quite some time, I think many have moved away from the genre for awhile (it did get oversaturated there for awhile), but I am happy to delve back into the genre. I like Boley's take on how the zombies are created, this is not your typical you get bitten you become a zombie. No this is if you use this addictive drug too long, it is going to turn you into one and all those who take it know this. However, like in many zombie or apocalyptic novels, the zombies are really the least of your worries, it is the other survivors you need to worry about. I think that Boley does a great job of showing how far humanity can fall and how the two different groups The Faction and Pharmatrox (troxies), are battling each other for control.

I struggled to get into this book at the beginning, I wish there had been a prologue to give readers the general idea of the dystopia we are about to step into, the two sides and why they are fighting. Instead, we have to wait till chapter 10 in order to get even a hint of what occurred before. I wasn't able to understand why people hated Troxies and wanted them all dead or how people were becoming zombies, so I felt like I was muddling through the first few chapters trying to figure it all out. 

I think I saw a review where some people had a hard time believing one of the twists in the book, I personally thought it was quite obvious, and not surprising and it just made since when you think of most dystopia/end of the world type books; everyone changes in some way or another, from who they are to their names, people have to change and adapt in order to survive. The other twist I did not see coming at all, and does it really affect things in the book, not really, so I am fine with it.

I appreciate that Boley does not waste the side characters in this book, they are not just there to be there, but feel like they are fully fledged people and different from each other even though they do not get their own POV. Each of them has a purpose in this story, especially those around Stella and I enjoyed that we got to know them as well. They also helped keep Stella grounded in certain situations which Stella needed quite a bit of in this book. I mean how can you not like Quinten. 

Death was an interesting addition and I wasn’t sure of her purpose until halfway through the book, so if you find the Death character confusing to begin with don’t worry. Their presence is explained and I actually wish there was more of Death at times (Death starts to fade out the farther you get into the book), to really show the downward spiral of Stella and her Dust usage and in the same way explain why she continued to use.

Overall, this is a really good debut novel and for most of the book you do not think that you are reading one. Boley does not let up on the action, suspense or darkness throughout the book. There are times when I wish the stakes were a little bit higher (but I don’t want to give any spoilers). I look forward to reading what Boley puts out next and I better not have to wait long for book 2.


If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:

No comments:

Post a Comment