This is my review of Remade by Alex Scarrow. I’ll try to keep it spoiler free but there’s always a chance I just have to mention something noteworthy and spoilerish.
The plot is very much along the vein of The Walking Dead or Day of the Triffids or any one of those world-going-to-hell-survivor-type plots. Nothing those who’ve read this genre haven’t read before. As a gripe, it’s a very minor one due to it being told so very well. Leon and his family, along with the few fellow survivors they encounter, have just enough characterisation to keep them interesting. However, not too much time is spent over-developing them so that you don’t get irritated by them or distracted from the grisly surroundings.
And let’s look at the grisly surroundings. For those familiar with Alex’s wonderful series TimeRiders there’s a manmade virus called the Kosong-ni virus, that does a very similar thing (at least to start with) to its victims as the one in this book. The back of the book has in a nice red warning box “For Older Readers”. It’s not joking, I know adults who would have trouble stomaching the graphic nature of some of these scenes. Having read others post about the content, it looks like the Toilet and Burning scenes are pretty much the pinnacle of woah!
As an adult, I found the warning label made some scenes more impactful to me because I was expecting something more catered for the not-yet-adult and then BAM! Yeah, that just happened! The unexpectedly high level of bad stuff happening (in exquisite detail) beautifully compliments the standard plot which is needed as a comfort blanket, until it deviates and BAM! Yeah, deal with that!
This is very much a book of two main halves, the first half dealing with the outbreak and the second half dealing with survival. I almost feel like the first half ended too soon, but there’s only so many times you can read about what happens to so-and-so before it gets repetitive. Having read the brief excerpt at the back of the book from the SEQUAL it looks like there will be more to sink my melty-flesh teeth into coming soon. Master Scarrow does tweet regularly (@AlexScarrow) his writing updates (when he’s not doing amazing things at schools nowhere near where I live) so it’s easy to follow his progress.
The second half features other survivors, with the expected issues, but done well enough to enjoy the ride again. Just because you’ve been on one roller coaster, doesn’t mean that all roller coasters are going to be the same, or unexciting. Also feels a little short, but if more time were spent fleshing out the new characters, the pacing would be lost.
Buy it, read it, tell others to read it (though probably not the squeamish and right before bedtime).
I absolutely devoured this book, much like the virus, and am hungry for more. Many of the twists you can see coming, but not quite in the way you anticipated. The developments that take place in the second half of the book really take it in an interesting direction.
I’ll now sit here and wait for Remade II…or reread TimeRiders.