Book Review: Sadie Walker is Stranded, Madeleine Roux

| 23 January , 2012 | Reply

As always, Madeleine Roux starts us out right in the centre of the action and from then on, Sadie Walker is Stranded continues to grip the reader\’s attention, never letting the fear of a sudden zombie attack escape your mind.

This story follows Sadie Walker, as she and a bunch of others attempt to escape Seattle in the wake of a zombie invasion. Taking to the sea, they soon find that there are dangers lurking beneath the depths of the water just as deadly as what they had left behind.

Roux\’s second zombie novel introduces not only new characters, but also a new setting. After fleeing Seattle they arrive on the rocky coast of an island to find that they are not the only people there. Soon the two groups collide in their search for a place to call home. It\’s a new world; the normal conventions no longer apply in this fight for survival.

All things considered, Sadie is doing pretty well for herself and for her new charge, Shane. It\’s hard enough to deal with the loss of a sister and the sudden responsibility of a nephew, but to do so in a world that is breaking down& that takes a certain toughness of character—something that would make even Allison Hewitt proud.

There isn\’t any moment when I doubt the relationship between aunt and nephew. Roux adds just enough wariness, hesitation and doubts to make readers believe in the newness of their situation, mixing in a sprinkle of hope—that shy determiner of a bond, which waits unsteadily in the minds of the characters, ready for the let down, but secretly wishing that it will never come.

As a reader, I feel that about Shane; he is looking for someone to believe in and he wants it to be Sadie. And Sadie too has her own doubts, never having been in this position before, but whatever mothering skills she lacks, she makes up for with determination and resourcefulness.

And let\’s not forget Whelan, who emerges from the other camp, tall, strong and protective by nature. He welcomes Sadie\’s ragtag group into their makeshift island home. But when people begin to go missing, they have to start wondering, what do they really know about each other?

Sadie Walker is Stranded is all about survival, going with your gut and learning when to push past your own prejudices to find people you can trust. To me, it brings to light the question: how do you create a life in a world where you know you may never be safe?

… Still looking for an answer? Well, do yourself a favour and ask Sadie Walker.

Available now: Hachette $29.99


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