Sunday, March 8, 2015
Book Review: ALIVE by Scott Sigler
It’s her twelfth birthday, but that’s all she knows. She doesn’t remember her name, her past, and she has no idea why she’s woken up in a coffin. Her body doesn’t fit into its uniform. She looks closer to eighteen than twelve. Her only hint is what was written on her coffin. M. Savage.
Luckily, she isn’t alone. Others in the same situation are in coffins nearby. Now, with the other “children” she’s help break free of their macabre beds, Savage wants answers. Where are they? Why are they here? Why have so many of her memories been blanked out? What does the M stand for?
Most importantly, how do they get out?
That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from http://scottsigler.com/book/alive/
A teenage girl awakens to find herself trapped in a coffin. She has no idea who she is, where she is, or how she got there. Fighting her way free brings little relief—she discovers only a room lined with caskets and a handful of equally mystified survivors. Beyond their room lies a corridor filled with bones and dust, but no people... and no answers. She knows only one thing about herself—her name, M. Savage, which was engraved on the foot of her coffin—yet she finds herself in charge.
She is not the biggest among them, or the boldest, but for some reason the others trust her. Now, if they’re to have any chance, she must get them to trust each other. Whatever the truth is, she is determined to find it and confront it. If she has to lead, she will make sure they survive. Maybe there’s a way out, a rational explanation, and a fighting chance against the dangers to come.
Or, maybe a reality they cannot comprehend lies just beyond the next turn.
I’ve read a lot of Sigler’s work, and it’s common knowledge among his fans that all his books are set in a single universe. Or… Siglerverse. I did enjoy trying to figure out where and when this book takes place in the Siglerverse, but even after finishing it, I admit, I still only have guesses. That’s nice. Sigler raises hundreds of questions all through Alive, but he only answers about 2/3 or 3/4 of them. The rest are waiting for the next book in the trilogy, and I am now dying for it to come out. I’m not dissatisfied with Alive by any stretch of the imagination. It is a very fitting book and left me pleased with what happened to the characters. It felt resolved… for now. I’m just waiting for the bigger picture to become clearer.
Considering Sigler’s other work [REVIEWS], Alive is almost tame in comparison. He is a very graphic author, and I wouldn’t say he’s “toned down” in this novel, but it is less gorey than say, Infected or even his GFL books. There’s a different sort of horror and violence here. Alive is more psychologically horrific than some of his other works, and I really enjoyed that about this novel. Don’t get me wrong; it is dark. Very dark, and some of the images the characters run across are grim and disturbing. But I wouldn’t say they go over the edge, at least for me.
The writing itself is clean, but I’ve come to expect that from Sigler. He paints very vivid pictures with minimal words needed, leaving the mind to create the rest. A few times, I did want a little more description, but I was never lost. There were just a few things I had a harder time visualizing than others.
I came into reading Alive with no real idea what to expect of it. I knew it was a different storyline than any other books of his I’ve read, set apart somewhere else in the timeline of the Siglerverse. By the time I was done with chapter one, I was sucked in. Alive is, my friends, a sleep-thief. I could have stayed up all night and read this book (and finished it, if I wanted to. It’s a fast read.) This is a very difficult book to put down. I only did it four times. Seriously. The first time I picked it up, I read 30 pages before I had to force myself to bed (stupid adult responsibilities like work). Next session, I read 60 pages, then another 30, then 16… then I had a free day and read the last 183 pages in one sitting. It’s that good. The last 80 pages or so… I couldn’t have put the book down if I’d been forced to. I’m not being literal, but wow, that last third or so of the book was gripping! I would say this book would be very well served just read on a lazy weekend day when you have no other obligations. It’s that compelling to finish, from page one.
Would I Recommend This Book? Highly. This is a true page-turner, a book that is very infuriating to have to close so you can take care of other necessities. Take this book to the bathroom and don’t leave. Read it in bed rather than getting up someday. Have a few-hour plane ride? This would be a great one for uninterrupted reading time. It can be one to read over the course of days, but believe me, you won’t want to. I give Alive a dust-coated 5 of 5 stars.
For more on the author, visit http://scottsigler.com/