June 20, 2013

Review of Survivor (Alone #2) by James Phelan



Jesse is alone. His friends are gone. His supplies are gone. And the chasers, the zombies, are getting bolder. So when he starts to see signs of life, of other humans, he can’t believe his luck. But in post-incident New York, the only thing more dangerous than the chasers, are the survivors.

add to goodreadsSurvivor (Alone #2) by James Phelan
Publication Date:  April 30, 2013
Publisher:  K-Teen

Available for Purchase:

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!

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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 opinions **


You can check out our review of book 1, Chasers by James Phelan, HERE!

Gabby NewIf you haven’t read the first book in this series, I wouldn’t suggest you continue reading due to potential spoilers!

I read the first novel in author James Phelan’s, Alone series about a year ago. What I do remember about the first novel? That there was a major twist involving the main character’s psyche and that there were zombies who weren’t zombies at all. However, after the revelation that came in Chasers I was interested in finding out what would happen next to the main character Jesse.

               Survivor takes place right where Chasers left off. Jesse has discovered that he has been alone the entire time and that his companions were just figments of his imagination and must now figure out how to last against the Chasers that want to drink anything liquid that they can find. Things have gone from bad to worse because it seems that certain Chasers are beginning to evolve into predator-like creatures that have begun to hunt their prey.

 Jesse isn’t sure what to do about the evolving Chasers, but he does know that there are other survivors in New York City and that he has to find one of them. Jesse discovers that the US military has arrived in New York and is prepared to kill any Chasers that they can find. Jesse is positive that he cannot trust the soldiers and, perhaps by luck, finds a few survivors who he tries to save from the Chasers and the post-apocalyptic world that they have been left in.  Jesse will have to learn what it really means to survive in this new world and if he can come out a survivor.

My big problem with Survivor was that, like the novel before it, I had such a hard time getting into it for a number of reasons but I’ll just describe three of them. The first being that I couldn’t relate or sympathize for Jesse at all. He was a protagonist that I felt so distant from and left me with an inability to worry about him when the Chasers would come after him. However, despite my inability to really connect with Jesse I did find myself connecting with new characters Caleb and Rachel.

The second thing would be that the pacing is, I think, very awkward. There are moments that are filled with action, but soon after there’ll be a drop that left me on the verge of bored. The scenes that are full of action are seriously exciting and you do get caught up in them and they’re fantastic but when things do reach a calm they tend to lose all that excitement and don’t really build up to much of anything. On the topic of the twist in the novel, while it wasn’t as great as the one found in Chasers, it was still pretty awesome.

The final thing that I want to mention that gave me difficulty with this novel (and Chasers) would have to be the “zombies”. What originally had me so excited to get started on this series was the promise of zombies with a twist. My understanding of zombies has always been that they are the living dead who want to eat you. That sounds terrifying. The “zombies” in this series are people who come up with a strain of an infection and have an insatiable thirst. Jesse comes up with calling them Chasers because they… well chase their prey. Personally, the Chasers didn’t scare me, I wouldn’t see them and start bawling, but they did creep me out.

I’d recommend the Alone series to readers who are open minded about post-apocalyptic situations, readers who want a novel that has great action scenes and are packed full of twists.




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



  1. Denise Z

    I certainly like the premise of this series and am curious to see the “different take” on zombies. I do like it when things are out of the box and am going to hop over and check out more. Thanks for sharing, I enjoy knowing the good and bad to be forewarned when I come to those spots. I am curious to see if I would connect with Jesse :)

  2. Chapter by Chapter

    If you’re very open to something entirely new then you will really like this read. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading :)

    – Gabby

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