Author: Alexandra Oliva
Genres: Science Fiction
My Rating: ♥ ♥
Goodreads, Amazon UK
Goodreads Summary: Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.What did I think? No. Nope. No. Mostly. I have such beef with dense main characters and Zoo is exactly that. She manages to stumble through a good part of the plot thinking every dead person she sees is in fact a puppet, a prop so to speak. Even when she meets a boy who tells her about the destruction that's happened in the world she believes he's part of the show. I get it. She's in denial. But come on...
She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far. It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.
Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.
This is Oliva's debut novel and as a debut it's not bad, I must admit. Her writing is promising, the premise is interesting and if I could have connected with the characters I might have even liked it. But it's hard to connect with someone when all you want to do is shake them and yell at them to open their eyes and face reality. Besides Zoo there's the other contestants, each has been given a name that fits either their profession or some defining character trait and while that is exactly the point of reality television it also makes it harder for the reader to emphasize with the characters and connect with them.
Personally I hate reality TV, I'm sure that didn't help.
Despite the fact I neither liked the plot nor the main character very much I finished the book. It's a gripping and fast read with a tight plot, so if the premise sounds interesting to you, don't hesitate to pick it up.