Review of Viral Apocalypse Novel SURVIVOR SONG by Paul Tremblay

An Ode to the Act of “Going On”

A super-strain of rabies has attacked Massachusetts. It is a viral apocalypse, in which the bite of infected animals and humans incubates and passes through the brain barrier within hours instead of weeks.

In SURVIVOR SONG, award-winning author Paul Tremblay navigates readers through a four-hour journey through a deadly viral pandemic.

Dr. Ramola Sherman is scheduled to work with the pandemic emergency response team the next morning. She’s not sure what to expect but knows the situation is dire. But reality hits her when her phone rings—an infected man bit her very pregnant best friend Natalie after he killed her husband.

Ramola must get Natalie to the hospital for a rabies vaccination. The rabies might travel from her arm to her brain within an hour.

Hopefully, if they give Natalie the vaccine quickly, it will prevent the rabies from attacking her brain. What they don’t realize is that their journey will be a nightmare almost worse than the virus itself.

Ramola and Natalie drive into a mob of people all trying to get to the hospital. As the clock ticks down to disaster, the pair must travel farther than they thought to get Natalie the help she and her baby need. Can they traverse a landscape of deranged people all desperate to stay safe?

They find that the four hours of their journey “has fast-forwarded, or skipped frames, like the virus has gone quantum and is infecting reality itself.” And those who believe the virus is global biological warfare or a government coup might be more dangerous than anyone.

The best and worst of humanity is right outside their truck’s window. “It would be easier to pretend they are in a zombie movie.” Ramola and Natalie aren’t sure they’ll survive. SURVIVOR SONG is a rapid-pulse-read that concentrates on a snapshot of a live-or-die situation. Although this drama hits close-to-home-isolation, at least we can say, “thank God we’re not going through that.”

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