Review: What Remains (Dead World #1) by Kay Holland


Title: What Remains
Author:  Kay Holland 
Publisher/Year:  Indie Kay Holland 9/21/13
Length:  143 Pages
Series: Dead World #1


Project Fed. It was supposed to be the answer to hunger, but instead, it was the destruction of the world as we knew it.

The growth of chemically enhanced “super” fruits and vegetables began in unmarked farms across the Nations, as well as their distribution in small towns. Within hours of Project Fed’s first delivery and primary consumption, something far beyond expectancy was unleashed. Something far beyond what anyone could help.

Four months later, Seventeen year old Max Cade is trying to survive amongst what remains of her old life. In an effort to escort an awry “Doctor” from one camp to the next, she will have to reintroduce her two young friends to the horrors beyond their shelter that she so badly wanted to shield them from. Getting there was supposed to be the easy part, but when travelling through a world of ruin, sometimes the undead have other plans.

My Thoughts

I’ve read quite a few reviews online that weren’t so great about this book, and while i was reading it, i think that i can understand why.  That’s not to say that i agree with all of them, i just understand where the readers are coming from.  My issue is that as much as i don’t like to compare books to each other, this one felt a lot like another series that i’ve read and reviewed – Razorland.  But….anyway,

The characters that lead us into this story dont’ really play much of a role, maybe a side bit for a minute connection to things, but really gives us a preview of what’s to come.  At this point, we know nothing about what’s going on in the world except that we’re in a high school where there’s a kid who’s chosen to help the wrong girl with work, and her boyfriend decides to bully him yet again.  it’s only on this day that things get weird though, a rage comes over him and turns him from weak nerd to a killer – all for reasons unknown.

fast forward us to another location – i learn later to be in the same city – where we meet the characters that we’ll go on a journey with.

We are quickly introduced to Max who is our femme fatale here – a girl who’s just out of high school who is put into a position of responsibility and leadership because someone has to do it.  She’s babysitting Peter – who’s 13 and shouldn’t need a babysitter – but maybe it’s because of this that they stay alive…for now.  One night when things seem to be as they usually are, the world turns upside down.  a virus has come to life in some folks and has turned them into cannibals of a sort – they are ‘freaks’ as the author continues to put it, and they go after humans, killing them in a rage – eating their flesh and then hunt down more prey.

IT’s on this night that Peter spurs into action, with orders that his father gave him if things were to ever get bad.  take what we’ve prepared at get to this abandoned hangar where you will be safe.  So this is where Max and Peter set off for.  While they are leaving, the see such horror in their town, people being attacked, killed and eaten by their loved ones and friends, for reasons unknown.  as they are trying to get out of town, they also pick up Kelly Bristow or Bristow as we come to call her, who is a 15 yr old and who’s trying to find someone to save her mom.  since there’s no time for that, the 3 of them leave and make their way to the hangar.

The story then takes us on a slight fast forward where they have been living in the LTA hangar – fighting to keep freaks out while trying to understand where the virus has come from.  no one seems to know.  it’s only when the safety of their community is compromised, the freaks are coming fast and furious and some how the virus has been contracted by some on the base that things get even worse.  Max, Peter and Bristow are sent on a job to take their doctor Paul to another base where he can be helpful in the hopes of finding a cure.  This journey that they go on makes life look like a peaceful play date since they spend the next days and weeks fighting for their lives, finding a duo on the road that they aren’t sure they can trust but some how find that they have to bring them along, and make their way to another safe community or so they think.

What they find those when they get there is that things aren’t always better inside the walls – and while they’ve made their delivery of the doctor, they can’t stay-  yet they aren’t allowed to leave.

The final turn of this story takes us on the escape that they try to make from this last base – and you have to wonder if it’s a set up that will get them out or if it’s genuine, and what it will mean for them.  To be honest, i’m not sure yet if i believe that it’s all on the up and up – but i want to hope for the best since i think that there’s something in Max that makes for a good dystopian heroine – we just haven’t seen it come out yet.  Its the last page – the last few lines that make things interesting and actually make me want to get my hands on the next book since we just don’t know who’s come into the picture.  there’s nothing to identify them.

Anyway, what we get here is the usual – virus kills off humanity save for a handful of folks that manage to survive.  but at what price – who are the good guys and will they find a way to save humans from extinction.  the one thing that’s different in this story though from others is that there’s no romance, there’s no hope for a love interest just yet, and that’s ok.  instead we get the POV of a family here – it’s more about trying to keep the ones that you ‘love’ safe and together instead of trying to keep the ONE that you love safe and with you if that’s the smart thing.  Check it out if you can – i’d love to hear your thoughts.