November 11, 2012

Review of Chasers (Alone #1) by James Phelan


Four Teenagers.

One Destroyed City.
Thousands of
Infected Predators. 

Jesse is on a UN Youth Ambassadors camp in New York when his subway carriage is rocked by an explosion. Jesse and his three friends, Dave, Mini and Anna, crawl out from the wreckage to discover a city in chaos.

Streets are deserted. Buildings are in ruins. Worse, the only other survivors seem to be infected with a virus that turns them into horrifying predators…

Outnumbered. No sign of life. Just them. And you… ALONE.

Chasers (Alone #1) by James Phelan
Publication Date:  October 30, 2012
Publisher:  K-Teen
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinion **

Chasers by author James Phelan is the first book in the Alone series which from my understanding, was supposed to be The Walking Dead but in YA format and thus not as dark and totally inappropriate for the young tweens who are evolving into the YA universe. With that being said, I’m a total Walking Dead fan, I’m die hard for zombies and thrillers and episodes featuring gore and people being eaten alive so that I won’t sleep all night. I expected that from Chasers and considering that it is blatantly put out there that the antagonists in the post-apocalyptic world are zombies I expected that Walking Dead feel.

Chasers takes place from the point of view of main character Jesse who after coming to New York City for a fun trip ends up experiencing the end of the word. With his fellow foreigners they attempt to survive against the zombie-like creatures that they have chosen to call “Chasers” because they… you know chase their prey… Jesse and his friends hole up in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. They face the reality that in an apocalyptic world you have to shoot a few undead freaks in the face and must do anything to survive.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but zombies are those creatures that… you know “eat” you until you are dead from the shock of it all or get bitten and join their legion?  That is what they are if I am correct and you can imagine how at a loss for words I was when the zombies in Chasers drink instead of eat… maybe it’s just me.

I personally am not scared of somebody that wants to drink my blood and soul, I went through a vampire phase, I used to find that stuff attractive.  When I hear about zombies I wanna fear getting eaten alive. I want to fear my flesh getting torn strip by strip and having some rotting savage claw at me in an attempt to get to all my Kryptonian muscles beneath my spandex costume skin. So to anybody reading this review and expecting to find scenes similar to that of the Walking Dead prepare to be let down a fair bit.

The plot of the novel mostly takes place in 30 Rock. In fact… when I come to think about it a high amount of the novel is spent with the group walking around 30 rock, finding stuff, seeing zombies and chatting a lot about what they should (and eventually do not) do. The start of the novel, I found, happened to be the most exciting thing to happen in the entire story, when we first meet the Chasers and get that thrilling idea that perhaps our characters will be killed.

I find that in thrillers, I like to be with the characters, I want to experience the risk of my characters dying. The risk of being in danger and sadly, I have got to admit that Chasers was a disappointment. There weren’t that many risks, I have to say that the characters mostly play it too safe throughout the novel which just resulted in many dry scenes that lost my attention fairly quickly. When faced with the Chasers I felt like the terror didn’t stick and that the emotions that I should have been able to infer from the plot wasn’t there.

The ending of the novel made me a bit wide-eyed considering that it’s very Fight Club with the idea of how Jesse is solely alone. Do I hope that in future installments things get more Walking Dead? Oh yeah. Do I want to read these future installments? Yes, considering that I found Chasers to be more of a prelude to how Jesse ended up in this post-apocalyptic New York.

I would recommend this to fans of thrillers, but also to readers who are willing to take a chance on a zombie novel that doesn’t have your traditional zombies.

About the Author:

James Phelan was born on the 21st of May, 1979, in Melbourne, Australia. His creative spirit was nurtured from a young age, and he credits his overactive imagination to being exposed to authors such as Roald Dahl and Paul Jennings, as well as such works as The Hobbit, Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, Tales of the Punjab, Siddhartha, and The Little Prince.
As a teenager James discovered a love of geo-political thrillers, of being entertained and informed on topical global events. James cites influences on the Fox series from reading such authors as Alistair MacLean, Clive Cussler, Jeffery Archer, Ken Follett, Tom Clancy, Jack Higgins, Robert Ludlum, John le Carre, Ian Fleming, and Jeffery Deaver.
In 1995, aged fifteen, James started his first novel, which he went on to develop as part of his major VCE English assignment in 1996. A thriller involving a terrorist attack on the 2000 Sydney Olympics, James eventually abandoned the storyline when Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six was published in 1998. While this story idea died, the lead protagonists of Lachlan Fox and Alister Gammaldi lived on as James went in search of another introductory tale for these series characters.
After high school James went on to study in Architecture, and then English Literature, eventually graduating with a PhD in Writing. It was during his masters degree and while working at The Age newspaper James developed the idea that would become his first published book, and would lead to seeing his novels in print.

Connect with the Author:  Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
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1 Comment

  1. JennRenee

    Awesome review. I can do without some of the gore for sure. I am a wimp.

    I have seen a lot of books lately mixing the vampire/zombie thing… so drinking instead of eating probably falls somewhat under that. I think authors are trying to find new ways to do zombies since its all the rave right now.

    I have seen this book but wasn’t to sure about it. I need to give it a read, sounds interesting.

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