Monday, March 3, 2014

Elixir by Anna Abner

Red Plague Trilogy
Book One
Anna Abner

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Mild Red Books

ISBN:  978-0-001-40310-3

Number of pages: 200
Word Count:  50,000

Cover Artist: Sweet & Spicy Designs

Book Description:

The red plague has devastated the human race, turning billions of people into zombies with red eyes and an insatiable hunger for human flesh. The virus sweeps through the population so quickly a possible cure is left to rot. Seventeen-year-old Maya Solomon may be the only survivor who knows where it is. But to reach the lab in Raleigh, North Carolina she will have to outrun the infected boy tracking her every step and cross into a city swarming with monsters.

I was given this book for an honest review.


Rating: 5-Phenomenal-Stars!!!

You know, I never pictured myself as the type of person that would like the "zombie apocalypse it's the end of the world as we know it" books but so far, I'm two for two.  I just finished reading this book, Elixir, and I've also read Red Hill by Jamie McGuire.  Personally, to compare Anna Abner to Jamie McGuire is HUGE for me because I totally fangirl Jamie -- I love ALL her work.  But Anna Abner is right up there with her in my eyes!  I was very pleasantly surprised.  Hadn't I ever taken the chance to read Red Hill, I probably never would've found any interest in reading this story, either, but in fact- I loved it!  I really enjoyed Elixir. You all know me, of course I'm a tough critic and all but this book really set the bar high for future books in the series.

Personally, I have a total infatuation with paranormal reads.  They are my absolute favorite.  BUT I'm not a big fan of sci-fi.  Shifters, vampires, angels, and Weres are usually the extent of my "comfort zone".  I like to read about normal human beings in a dystopian setting of sorts, like in the Divergent trilogy, too.  But zombies were always a big N-O for me.  Well, Anna Abner and Jamie McGuire have officially changed my kind!  Not only did I enjoy reading this story, but I also was intrigued, interested, emotionally attached, and unfortunately heartbroken at times.

Maya, the main character of the novel, is the daughter of a experimental scientist.  Having lost her mother and brother, Maya and her father have formed a tight bond throughout the past couple years.  When the "red plague", also known as 212R, hits major cities it is up to Maya's father to produce a cure.  In the meantime he has a safety room built in their house in case the outbreak reaches their small town.  While Maya's father is at work all hell breaks lose and the world is now overpopulated by zombies out for human blood.  Except these zombies aren't what you would picture an average zombie to be like at all- they are fast, resourceful, aggressive, smart, and "as tenacious as a cockroach".

Maya must get to her fathers lab in Raleigh to get that cure, and she must get there alive.  Along the way she meets some people who both help her and drag her down during her journey to find the cure.  Ben, a zombie Maya meets in the beginning of the story, is anything but ordinary.  Sure, he's red eyed and looks like a zombie but he's not out to harm Maya and her friends.  He's the exact opposite, he's their protectors.  No matter where she goes, he does, too. What's up with him?  How is he different?  She's never met him a day in her life yet she feels this unusual bond between them.  Will she be able to save her zombie friend Ben and find a cure for the rest of the zombie population throughout the world, turning everything back to normal?

Now I don't know if it's just me being the tough critic that I am or if it's the fact that I'm being selfish here butttt... I wanted SOOO much more!  It pained my little heart for the book to end when it did.  Yeah I know, it's a series- OF COURSE the whole story can't be revealed in book one!  This is just one of those books that you get totally irate about ending, wishing you could just keep reading and reading and reading.  I wanna know all of the answers to the questions still left out in the open and yet I have to wait- AHHHHH!

Like I stated above, Elixir was a "different" read for me - definitely outside of my ordinary picks, but it was outstanding!  The writing was great, the author did a phenomenal job introducing us to the characters and utilizing their backgrounds and such, too.  This novel is absolutely suitable for a young teenage audience.  What I loved the most?  It really makes you think.  What if a zombie apocalypse were to really take place?  I'm not in a believer in anything of the sort but the storyline makes you think outside of the box.  I actually paused a couple times to think about the scenario taking place in the book and thought, "WHAT IF?!"  What would the world that we live in today do in a catastrophe like this?  I simply CANNOT WAIT (note the emphasis!) to read the future books in this series!  A+++ (times a million +'s) job to the author, Anna Abner, on delivering all the right key components to such a well written, outside of the box, amazing novel.  In all honesty, I believe this book is worthy of many rewards and wouldn't be surprised to see it on the top of many book lists.  It goes without saying that Ms. Abner is one of a kind, unique, and SOOO talented!

Elixir undoubtedly is more than worthy of the five stars I've awarded it and will go down as one of my favorites forever!


A buzzing circular saw woke me five minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off. Instant, achy terror consumed me. I scrambled out of bed in my PJs and crouched at the end of the hall, peeking around the corner into the living room beyond the foyer.
"Dad?" I hissed.
He stood, hands on hips, in front of our big screen TV staring at local news.
I sagged against the wall in relief. For a moment I'd thought... But no. We weren't being attacked by red-eyed plague victims.
Dad hadn't heard me, but around and between his arms I watched the agitated news anchor struggle through her report.
"If you are in a heavily infected area," the hollow-eyed brunette read off the teleprompter, "you are instructed to shelter in place. Do not attempt to travel. Roads and highways are impassable, particularly in Raleigh and Charlotte. The safest thing for you to do is stay where you are. Lock your doors and windows and wait for further instruction."
A tiny hiccup of fright escaped my throat, and Dad whipped his head around. His normally slicked back blonde hair was dry and messy as if he hadn't bothered to comb it at all.
"Maya," he exclaimed, pasting on a friendly smile. But under the positive facade I could tell he was just as terrified as I was. The world was falling to pieces and we both knew it.

About the Author:

One of my first memories is dangling over the arm of our living room sofa telling myself a post-apocalyptic survival tale in which my mother and I were the last two people on earth. It was so fun, I never stopped telling stories. In high school, I faked being ill so I could stay home to work on a novel about a nanny who falls in love with her boss' bad boy nephew.

As an adult I earned a college degree, got married, and had a child, but I never stopped writing. It only got more fun. I wrote through my lunch breaks at work. I wrote on the treadmill at the gym. Eventually, I had dozens of short stories, novellas, and full-length novels piling up on thumb drives and in plastic tubs.

Now, I'm ready to share my stories with you, starting with The Dark Caster Series and the Red Plague Trilogy. I hope you love reading them as much as I loved writing them!

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