Quarantine, by James Phelan

I think this is the last “Alone” book. Think being the operative word there. I had no idea whilst reading it that the ending would be so final, nor that the entire matter would be “resolved” so fast. Because it was fast…

It’s not a long book, it’s easy enough to read in one sitting. At the start, Jesse is where we left him at the end of “Survivor”, that is at the zoo, with Rachel and Felicity. “Quarantine” focuses on Jesse’s hunt for an escape from the apocalyptic New York, and his hunt for other survivors. He is specifically searching for the group of survivors previously mentioned by Caleb, who live (It’s more like “squat with style” really) in Chelsea Pier.

The plot was quite good, but as previously mentioned, it is a short book, so with that in mind, the plot was excellent, as it was all packed in so well. Phelan managed to tell quite the story, in quite a short space. Props to him for that…

Normally, it’s a bad thing if I can’t remember the name of the main character, but in this case, that’s the effect of the outstanding first person narrative. Jesse is the main character, and a good one at that. Even when faced with situations such as the ones he goes through (I’m trying to leave out the spoilers), he doesn’t become one of those weepy, self-pitying characters, that almost everyone else hates. *cough* Bella *cough*. No, Jesse deals with the cards he’s been handed, and though he later mourns his actions, he gets over it. Which in his case probably isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially in an apocalyptic city, filled with chasers. (Zombie like creatures) Or so I’ve heard, unfortunately I don’t have any firsthand experience in that area. *sigh*

It is an excellent book, though I’ve one or two bones to pick.

Firstly, Jesse’s search for Caleb is a tad unrealistic, and at times confusing. This probably isn’t true for everyone, but I found that I had to read over Jesse’s “confrontations” with Caleb a few times, just to process them. They seemed a bit rushed, but I guess ultimately they got the point across, which was probably Phelan’s objective. They could have been explained a bit better in the end though…

Then there was the escape plan. I won’t go into detail, for risk of spoilers, but it was pretty good, and definitely unexpected. I was expecting a lot more from that particular plotline, and I was quite disappointed when it was let fall by the wayside. In light of other events, I guess it’s slightly less important, and slightly unimportant towards the end of the story, and I suppose that’s to be expected…

Overall, “Quarantine” is a very good book, and that’s why I’m going to give it three eyebrows up out of five…

So until next time just remember:

It pays to be tough in an apocalyptic city, and jazz hands make everything better…


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