BOOK REVIEW: ‘Frail’ by Joan Frances Turner
Frail is Book 2 of Joan Frances Turner‘s The Resurgam Trilogy. In Frail, we follow Amy’s story in a post-apocalyptic world, devastated by a plague. In the beginning, there were zombies. Then the disease came that made everyone hungry. No matter what they ate– food, objects, their own children, etc.– their hunger were unsatisfied. It was terrifying for those who weren’t affected and were forced into hiding before they became someone’s meal.
Then one day, suddenly, everyone recovered and transformed into something more than human, more than zombies. The ex-zombies became self-aware again but they were not human. The ex-humans became some thing more than human. The strange hunger was still there but they’ve become almost immortal with super human strength.
Amy is one of the few human beings that survived and is referred to as a ‘frail.’ She was on her own after all the adults that took her of her passed away. She was surviving, hoping to not fall victim to one of the ex’es. They were predators and she was an easy prey. All the while a feral dog stalked her but she doesn’t know if he’s real or if she is going crazy.
Then she meets Lisa, one of the ex who is hanging onto her humanity. Reluctantly, Amy was forced to form an uneasy alliance with this female ex.
I haven’t read the first book in Turner’s trilogy, Dust, but I didn’t have trouble following the story in Frail at all. Turner had created a dystopian world beyond a zombie invasion. She evolved the zombie into an ‘ex-zombie’ although most of the book doesn’t delve much about them and will leave the reader curious. The majority of the book focuses on the ex-humans and the community and hierarchy they’ve created. Obviously, they feel they are superior to normal humans who they refer to as the frails.
The world in this book is pretty scary and Amy carries a lot of tension that the reader will sympathize with. You will be kept on the edge of your seat. A lot of very human drama is thrown in as different humans, a lot of them on the verge of insanity if they weren’t already insane, dealt with the changed world where the ex’es used them as slaves.
Amy is a young woman and is extremely resentful and angry at her own circumstances. At the same time, she is incredibly vulnerable and fearful. There are times when I was frustrated with her. Imagine an emo teenager having to deal with people who have the capability to eat her. There are times when I was just rooting for her survival. I was mostly intrigued by the ex’es like Lisa who held on to her humanity and morals as oppose to other ex’es like Don who had no qualms about beating a human to death. They reminded me almost of vampires in literature and media who thrilled in dominating the weaker human race.
If you are a fan of the zombie genre and is looking for a novel that puts a very different twist on zombies, you might enjoy this book. The story can be pretty scary and it moves fast. Unless you are a traditionalist with the genre then I wouldn’t recommend this novel but for those who are looking for some thing different and new, this will probably be the book for you.
Author’s website: www.joanfrancesturner.com
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