Survivor Song
A riveting novel of suspense and terror from the Bram Stoker award-winning author of The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government's emergency protocols are faltering.Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie's only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink. Paul Tremblay once again demonstrates his mastery in this chilling and all-too-plausible novel that will leave readers racing through the pages . . . and shake them to their core.

Survivor Song Details

TitleSurvivor Song
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 7th, 2020
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062679185
Rating
GenreHorror, Fiction, Thriller, Zombies

Survivor Song Review

  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    NOW AVAILABLE!!!******************************************months later, i am still in quarantine, wondering if all of this has been an extremely ballsy publicity stunt by paul tremblay to promote this book. WELL PLAYED, TREMBLAY! ******************************************when is a zombie novel not a zombie novel? when paul tremblay’s writing it! I was kind of joking when I said zombies, but not joking at the same time. They’re sick people and they turn delusional and violent and they bite, but i NOW AVAILABLE!!!******************************************months later, i am still in quarantine, wondering if all of this has been an extremely ballsy publicity stunt by paul tremblay to promote this book. WELL PLAYED, TREMBLAY! ******************************************when is a zombie novel not a zombie novel? when paul tremblay’s writing it! I was kind of joking when I said zombies, but not joking at the same time. They’re sick people and they turn delusional and violent and they bite, but it’s easier to say zombie than “a person infected with a super rabies virus and no longer capable of making good decisions.”with all the coronavirus-panic going on right now, this was a perfectly timed read for me. ain’t nothing like reading a horror novel about a highly communicable disease whilst riding on a subway car filled with people wearing surgical masks. it’s right up there with the time i was reading The Plague on a deserted subway platform around 2am and a rat ran over my foot. good times. this is one horrifying, propulsive ride, where all the action takes place over the course of a few hours, in the book-version of ‘real time,’ telling the tale of a super rabies virus that is fast-acting, reason-obliterating, communicable AF, and fatal. oh, and bitey. soooo bitey. if you’ve read The Cabin at the End of the World, you know that tremblay is not going to pull any of his punches - he’s an old-school concrete-surfaced playground beckoning you to come skin your knobby little knees. this one starts brutal and doesn’t let up, and it’s a reminder that effective horror needn’t have any supernatural elements at all—science is more than terrifying enough. the descriptions of afflicted humans—how their lurchy-staggery gait sounds across gravel, their word-salad babblings and barking-coughing ejaculations, and—dear god—the way they BITE, it is intense, it is chilling, it is goddamned good fun.the horror is offset by humor, pop culture references, and he even managed to sneak some MATH in there like it’s SCHOOL. like The Cabin at the End of the World, it centers around the question of “what are you willing to do to save the ones you love?” and while some of the decisions here are ethically dubious and put innocent, uninfected lives at risk, hey—times is hard and this playground ain’t padded. a special shout-out for “the tiny terrors” of infected cuties:Danger skulks undercover in the fields; the tall grass bows and waves, whispering of the epic battle to come. The zombie foxes are the first to attack. The scent of their musk announces their stealthy approach. The zombie raccoons are next. Their snorts and chitters fill the air, broadcasting their immutable intentions.and—you guys—a zombie deer! all of this woodland animal menace occurs in the section called You Will Not Feel Me Between Your Teeth, which—if i am remembering what he told me correctly—was paul’s desired title for this novel, inexplicably shot down. but at least there’s a tiny fox on the bookspine.a wonderful terror of a book. THIS! ONE! HAS! TEETH!*****************************rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. rabies. tremblay. RABIES! TREMBLAY! FOX ON THE COVER!and just like that, i'm having a better day*****************************even BETTER than that day was when i got my inscribed ARC of this in the mail, along with this crazy little bookmark/pin combo, and i don't yet know what it MEANS, but it looks like The Tailypo: A Ghost Story, so i am already deliciously freaked out!!!!***************************REVIEW TO COME!! SO MANY TEETH, YOU GUYS!!!come to my blog!
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    Things I have learned while reading this book (in no particular order):1. Never leave you door open while bringing in the groceries2. People who force their way into your home are dangerous3. Rabies sucks4. Paul Tremblay has done it againMassachusetts has been overrun by a rabies like virus that affecting both animals and humans alike. Its incubation period is short. Symptoms will come on fast. If bitten you must get help faster than the virus can go through your system. Plus, hospitals are inun Things I have learned while reading this book (in no particular order):1. Never leave you door open while bringing in the groceries2. People who force their way into your home are dangerous3. Rabies sucks4. Paul Tremblay has done it againMassachusetts has been overrun by a rabies like virus that affecting both animals and humans alike. Its incubation period is short. Symptoms will come on fast. If bitten you must get help faster than the virus can go through your system. Plus, hospitals are inundated and there may not be enough vaccines. Hysteria has kicked in, people are panicking, and society is breaking down."Never leave me and I will never leave you. Neither now nor ever."Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman is a pediatrician who received a phone call from her eight-month pregnant friend, Natalie. Natalie's husband has been killed and she has been bitten. Natalie and her unborn child's chance of surviving is getting to a hospital in time. Will Natalie make it? How will Rams help? This book takes place over a short period of time as these two women try desperately to get Natalie help. There is danger out there, the night is dark, and Ramona must examine what she is willing to do to save her friend. What would you do?Tremblay sets the stage and has the reader in position as a silent observer as these two women try to survive in this scary tale of survival. I rooted for them both, and for other characters as well. Tremblay knows how to create characters the reader will care for, he sucks you in so that you feel their pain, their sense of loss, their fear and their hope. Friendship, the ties that bind and the things you do for love, really make this book both enjoyable and heartbreaking. Did I mention that rabies sucks?Another brilliant book to add to his collection. A very timely book that deals with a virus that has come out of nowhere. Well written, well thought out, perfected paced and scary. It's one you will want to sink your teeth into. (I know, I know bad pun) But it will have you turning the pages and feeling the tension.Thank you to Paul Tremblay, William Morrow and Goodreads who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    **4.5-stars rounded up**THERE WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER BE A BETTER TIME TO READ THIS BOOK.After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is hit by a super contagious strain of a rabies-like virus, spread by saliva, the entire state goes into lockdown.Hospitals are overrun, public resources drained, people ordered into quarantine and it is literally dangerous to go outside.Dr. Ramola 'Rams' Sherman receives frantic news from her best friend, Natalie, who is currently 8-months pregnant with her first child **4.5-stars rounded up**THERE WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER BE A BETTER TIME TO READ THIS BOOK.After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is hit by a super contagious strain of a rabies-like virus, spread by saliva, the entire state goes into lockdown.Hospitals are overrun, public resources drained, people ordered into quarantine and it is literally dangerous to go outside.Dr. Ramola 'Rams' Sherman receives frantic news from her best friend, Natalie, who is currently 8-months pregnant with her first child.Apparently, Natalie's husband has just been killed after an infected neighbor broke into their home and attacked them. Making matters worse, if that's even possible, Natalie was bitten by the infected man during the attack.Due to the very rapid rate of progression for the virus, the clock is ticking for Natalie. She needs to get medical care right away and calls the one person she knows will help her, Rams.Natalie makes her way to Rams and the two women set out to try to make it to the hospital. Even though the hospitals are at max capacity, the fact that Ramola is employed there as a pediatrician, makes them think that they will be able to receive care.The rest of the novel takes place over just a matter of hours, as the two women race against time to try to save Natalie and her unborn child.This book is compact and extremely intense. Following Rams and Natalie on their journey was so incredibly vivid. I could completely imagine what they were seeing, hearing and feeling.Picking up Survivor Song in the midst of a global pandemic, I will say, is a surreal experience.Within the first 20-pages, I'm thinking, is Paul Tremblay clarivoyant? How the heck did he release this book at just the right moment?I think reading this, hot on the heels of the beginning of the pandemic, when we were first coming under quarantine, for the first time in my life, made this soul-shattering story even more impactful.While this is a horror story that, in concept is as frightening as hell, to me the most important aspect of the story, the aspect that effected me the most, was the relationship between Rams and Nats.Their relationship reminded me so much of my own relationship with my best friend, Nichole. Just imagining going through what these women were going through, the choices they had to make, it tore my heart out.I'll admit it, I cried. It was very much one of those, there but for the grace of God, go I-moments for me. It was hard to read.I texted her a few times throughout the ending of the story and of course she was sympathetic. She knows how I get with my stories!There was one scene that I did have to skip over, but I don't think editing that out for myself diminished any of the story for me.For those curious, (view spoiler)[it involved what I believe would be the death of a dog, as a group of characters were forcing their way into people's homes and killing family pets (hide spoiler)] in an ignorant attempt to halt the spread of the virus.I'm too sensitive on that topic to subject myself to that, so I just flipped on through.With that being said, this is an great story. One that will haunt me for years to come and isn't that really what Horror it is all about?Thank you so much to the publisher, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and as I expected, Tremblay does not disappoint! Get your hands on this as soon as you can, I know a lot of people are going to be talking about it!
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure if I fall under the "glutton for punishment" umbrella or if I just really enjoy apocalyptic horror, but I have been reading all of the horror books that should make me uncomfortable during a worldwide pandemic. If you are the type who won't be able to sleep after reading a book about people getting sick and dying in a widespread manner right now, that's completely understandable, but my hope is that things will be settling into our new normal by July when this book is set to be publ I'm not sure if I fall under the "glutton for punishment" umbrella or if I just really enjoy apocalyptic horror, but I have been reading all of the horror books that should make me uncomfortable during a worldwide pandemic. If you are the type who won't be able to sleep after reading a book about people getting sick and dying in a widespread manner right now, that's completely understandable, but my hope is that things will be settling into our new normal by July when this book is set to be published. Most of the plot is listed in the synopsis, so other than the very end of the book, there aren't a ton of traditional surprises, but I felt the purpose of this book was beyond twists and surprises, and more with the level of terror that the author instills in the reader. Also, I don't believe I've read a book to date that included zombie animals, and that was pretty cool. If you're a horror junkie who enjoys the running from bad things and a ticking clock that resembles a metaphorical bomb, you need this book!*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • David Putnam
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book it kept me turning the pages by continually ramping up the tension. There are two strong female characters that are easy to cheer for. The story is an odyssey where the two women have to get from point A to point B during a viral pandemic. Because what’s happening out in the world I was hesitant to read this one. It’s not a true zombie movie it’s a mutated rabies virus that makes people crazy and highly contagious. I hesitate to say more without spoiling the plot. This is a s I enjoyed this book it kept me turning the pages by continually ramping up the tension. There are two strong female characters that are easy to cheer for. The story is an odyssey where the two women have to get from point A to point B during a viral pandemic. Because what’s happening out in the world I was hesitant to read this one. It’s not a true zombie movie it’s a mutated rabies virus that makes people crazy and highly contagious. I hesitate to say more without spoiling the plot. This is a short quick read with a lot of tension. For those readers who like this sort of conflict, I highly recommend the writing craft is above average. Won this ARC in a Goodreads contest.David Putnam author of the Bruno Johnson series.
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  • Char
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 stars!SURVIVOR SONG consists of the fastest 320 pages I've ever read! Nats, (Natalie), is waiting at home for her husband to return from the store. This is no ordinary trip, however. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is a virus loose...a fast acting rabies virus that turns its victims, (animal and human alike) into rabid, (see what I did there?), strong, uber-violent attackers. Those infected will attack cars, humans, pretty much anything at all, and Natalie's husband is late. Wi 4.5/5 stars!SURVIVOR SONG consists of the fastest 320 pages I've ever read! Nats, (Natalie), is waiting at home for her husband to return from the store. This is no ordinary trip, however. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is a virus loose...a fast acting rabies virus that turns its victims, (animal and human alike) into rabid, (see what I did there?), strong, uber-violent attackers. Those infected will attack cars, humans, pretty much anything at all, and Natalie's husband is late. With Natalie being very pregnant, this is quite a scary turn of events. Will Nats' husband ever return? If so, will he be infected or not? What happens to Natalie's unborn baby? You'll have to read this to find out. I started this book in earnest early yesterday afternoon, (with only part of a previous lunch hour dedicated to it previously), and I had a hard time putting it down. The main characters, the previously mentioned Natalie and her friend Ramola, were so human, so REAL, that I never doubted the actions of either one of them. Unfortunately, I never doubted the bad guys in this story either. I have to admit though, that some I thought were bad guys, weren't spoiled through and through and I ended up shedding some tears for a couple of them, to be honest. Most of the others, though? I had no problem believing in them either, because all I have to do is turn on the television any time, night or day, to see them in real life. As in any zombie story, (I can hear Ramola now, in her British accent "They're NOT zombies!"), the real story is with the survivors. The things they have to do, or are forced to do, to save lives or to take them. This tale is brutal in that regard-the loss of humanity, or perhaps the salvation of humanity...we never know which is which at the time, do we?I got a bit of a kick that the story takes place in my home state and that I was familiar with some of the places mentioned. For me, the locations made this tale even more real. The only issues I had were that I wished it was a bit longer and, though I enjoyed the denouement and the end, I would have preferred a bit more explanation. For the latter reason I deducted half a star. I don't need everything wrapped up with a bow, but some elaboration would have pleased me more. SURVIVOR SONG is destined to be up there on top tens lists this year and it deserves to be. My highest recommendation!Available July 7, 2020 but you can pre-order here:  https://amzn.to/3eBzB6l*I received the e-ARC of this book from William Morrow, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*
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  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    In the coming days, conditions will continue to deteriorate. Emergency services and other public safety nets will be stretched to their breaking points, exacerbated by the wily antagonists of fear, panic, misinformation, a myopic, sluggish federal bureaucracy further hamstrung by a president unwilling and woefully unequipped to make the rational, science-based decisions necessary; and exacerbated, of course, by plain old individual everyday evil. There is something very eerie at work in Paul In the coming days, conditions will continue to deteriorate. Emergency services and other public safety nets will be stretched to their breaking points, exacerbated by the wily antagonists of fear, panic, misinformation, a myopic, sluggish federal bureaucracy further hamstrung by a president unwilling and woefully unequipped to make the rational, science-based decisions necessary; and exacerbated, of course, by plain old individual everyday evil. There is something very eerie at work in Paul Tremblay’s latest novel, Survivor Song, but not in the way you might expect from this author. It was written before the current (Summer 2020) corona virus pandemic became a global menace. It portrays a smaller event, an epidemic, focused in New England, but anticipates many of the issues that now manifest as real. We will come back to this. Paul Tremblay - image from wikimedia In case you have not had your RDA of zombie-based entertainment, Paul Tremblay’s got your back, and no, he won’t bite it. Tremblay is very fond of identifying a horror trope and then creating his own take on it. The zombie trope, like many, is a format within which to write about other things. It is supposed to be a scary story, of course, but, in the same way that the format of a sonnet offers a structure, but no real direction on content. There are common elements to zombie storiez: Create immediate crisis, add a clock to it. Gotta rush or something awful will happen. Check – Zombie invades the home of a couple, kills the guy, bites the woman, before she kills him. But this is a new sort of virus, a special form of rabies with an insane rate of development, so our heroine needs to get to serious medical care ASAP. There is a vaccine at the hospital. Tick, tock.Give your characters somewhere they need to be and start stripping away the means they have to get from here to there. Yep – all modes of transportation are challenged in one way or another.Add to the unnatural evil loose on the world a large dose of stupidity, and/or human malevolence. You know the sort, the person(s) who will absolutely, positively not believe a word our hero or heroine says, and will try to clamp them in irons, kill them, or in some other way impede their progress, sooner than heed reality. Sometimes it’s the government official trying to hide evidence of a secret experimental program gone awry, or a bigoted southern hayseed sheriff who pulls you over for driving while desperate. Uh huh - More the latter here, northern this time. Streetside vigilantes. Give them AR-15s and have them tricked out head to toe in the latest in camo couture, toting all the military gear they have been collecting in their basements, and have them menace anyone not in their tribe, as they seek to apply their very non-scientific solution to the problem. If the zombies here were looking for brains, and came across these folks, they would come away unsatisfied. I happened to be in England for my first time ever doing some book events. I was sitting on a train and I started writing in my notebook. I thought about some of my previous novels, most of which sort of take the horror trope and try to look at it in a different way, or if not a different way — I try to maybe ground that story in reality. I wrote down ‘zombie.’ I was like, ‘Oh, how would I do that?’When I first asked myself, ‘How would I read this in reality?’ the rabies virus instantly occurred to me. So, I had some of the science there that I wanted to have the characters deal with. I tried to take real rabies and just move up the speed of infection rate. - from the Rollingstone interviewIf the elements noted (and I am sure there are more) are a part of the, or a standard zombie framework, I’m fine with that. This is a favorite approach of Tremblay’s, offering his own take on an established trope. But it felt a bit excessive to go after reader affections with a just-a-few-moments-ago-widowed pregnant woman. Maybe give her cancer too? Oh, wait, she was bitten by the zombie that killed her husband, and has only so much time before she manifests the symptoms. Fine, whatever. I was reminded of Harper in Joe Hill’s The Fireman, also pregnant, also afflicted with a MacGuffin-osis, dragonscale in that case. Will Harper burst into flames? Will Natalie lose her mind to the super-rabies that is spreading so dynamically, and become a mindless violence machine? Has this become standard fare in the zombie ouevre? Am I wrong to see this as excess? Seriously, I am not sure. Zombie-philes, (Z-files?) please, let me know.Ok, so Natalie is in need of medical intervention. Good thing her bff is Doctor Ramola Sherman, aka Rams. Nats gets in touch, Rams gets moving, and these two will face the next few hours (the fast-paced duration of this novel) together, Nats deteriorating, Rams trying to cut through red tape and BS to get Nats the help she needs. Will it be enough? Will it be in time? Tick tock. So, fast-paced, action adventure of type Z. The bond between Rams and Nats is nicely drawn, looking back at their time together in Providence before life added responsibilities, and catching up on their friendship to the present. Our focus remains on these two throughout, with only occasional side-trips to social media or alternate character perspectives. There are attacks to be survived, and progress to a destination to be made, all within a relatively local range. I had no contacts in the CDC or anything like that. I really wanted to focus on what it would be like at a small suburban hospital — a local outbreak. My sister is a nurse at Beth Israel Hospital in downtown Boston, so most of my research on what the response would be was through her. I got to see what some hospitals’ response plans would be. - from the Rollingstone interview Now to the eerie bit. Sorry, zombies are pretty garden variety these days, even though Tremblay does his bit to differentiate them by making their zombie-hood short-term. They do not die and return to chase brains ad nauseum. He also tosses in zombie animals, which is a totally fitting touch, given that this is super-rabies epidemic. At almost every step of the way, Nats and Rams encounter impediments, questions, or problems that could have been taken from any newspaper over the last several months. Looks like Tremblay’s sister knew what she was talking about. ICUs being overwhelmed, hospitals being overwhelmed, physician shortages, materials shortages, not enough PPEs, not enough vaccines, talking about which state might be safer to be in, limitations on state border crossings, governments not having their acts together to cope with a sudden crisis. Tremblay had some serious voodoo working to have predicted with such creepy accuracy the challenges that our advanced medical care system would experience when faced with an epidemic-level crisis. And while the malady in question is, no doubt, extreme, it is not supernatural. Really, how big a stretch is it to posit a variation of rabies that was faster-acting and more virulent? So, Survivor Song is worth checking out for this frisson of recognition you will experience in ripping through this very fast read. While the speed with which this virus infects is terrifying, it shouldn’t prevent us from containing it. If anything, given how quickly people succumb to the virus, if we can maintain a proper quarantine and isolation, we should be able to contain the outbreak. But that presumes people do not panic, that correct information and instruction are disseminated efficiently to the public, that the federal government follows the CDCs recommendations to be proactive with vaccine, and not reactive…We should be offering prophylaxis to whoever comes through these doors.”“Do we have enough vaccine to do that?” “No, we don’t.” Only Spot. Fricking. On! Finally, there is the content that is being carried along by the trope. Not tough seeing what that might be. Tremblay points it out to us from time to time. A woman shouts from above, “She had great power and was dreaded by all the world.” The door slams shut and then swings open without a pause. “Surrounded by a high wall,” she says sing song, lilting at “high” and separating “wall” into two syllables. Her voice is the same tone and pitch as the alarm and it sounds like there are two of her. The woman continues shouting between the piston like opening and closing of the door. “Let it cost what it will cost.” Could be a segment on Fox and Friends. It is not just Trumpkins who are targeted, but those in society who make careers of denying reality. …it will burrow, digging like a nasty tick; it will migrate; and it will return all but encouraged and welcomed in a country where science and forethought are allowed to be dirty words, where humanity’s greatest invention—the vaccine—is smeared and vilified by narcissistic, purposeful fools [the most dangerous kind], where fear is harvested for fame, profit, and self-esteem… The militia sorts shown here would have fit in quite nicely in Charlottesville.One of the things about being an excellent writer is that one’s prior work has established a high bar. The result is that any new work that does not meet that previous high level can be seen as disappointing, even if, had it been put out by an unknown writer, it might be seen as top drawer. Survivor Song has a lot going for it. Page-turning fast action, it is teeth deep into a version of real contemporary plague, and offers some intelligent perspective on real-world problems. Yet, after having loved The Cabin at the End of the World and Growing Things and Other Stories, I liked this one, but did not love it. While I liked Rams and Nats, I did love them. Does that make me a bad person? Gut-level three and half, boosted up to four for the thoughtfulness of the real world considerations and excellent/awkward timing of putting out a plague book during a time of actual plague. At least Tremblay’s plague is not one we have to cope with in the real world, yet. Review posted – July 3, 2020Publication date – July 7, 2020=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages=================================Q& AI wondered if Tremblay was maybe poking a little fun at himself by introducing a character named Paul who drove a stick shift Subaru with over 200K miles on it and who clung dearly to an outmoded phone. So I did what one does, I asked. GR has an ask-the-author feature on author profile pages. Tremblay was extremely gracious and quick in his response. Maybe a small self-tweak. I do missing driving a stick (I currently drive a hybrid) but that Paul and me don't share an affinity for old tech and things that break down easily.I also asked why he used “Song” in the title. My favorite songs tend to be short, fast, and a mix of hopeful and melancholy. It was the vibe I wanted to go for with this book. If you have any questions for one of our best writers of horror, you might check out his profile page and just go on ahead and ask. You can do so here.Interviews-----Rollingstone - What It’s Like Releasing a Novel About a Deadly Virus in the Middle of Pandemic - By Brenna Ehrlich-----Blood in the Gears - Paul Tremblay on the Craft of Writing - mostly on Cabin at the End of the World, but enough is generic to make it useful-----Hangouts on Air - 2:17:45 – Tremblay with othersSongs/Music-----The Cranberries- Zombie-----A literal Survivor Song - Do Nats and Rams have the Eye of the Tiger?My reviews of other books by Paul Tremblay-----2019 - Growing Things and Other Stories-----2018 - The Cabin at the End of the World
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Massachusetts under the attack of pandemic virus: mutated rabies pandemic ,spreading by saliva! The zombies who are fed by fresh human flesh are out there to attack you. Oh no, somebody is already knocking on your door. Paul please, lock the door, you gotta think your pregnant wife! Hey, who am I talking,too! Okay another Paul bites the dust in the beginning of the book as I start screaming, biting my nails.WTH, a high tension, heart throbbing, body hair epilator, jaw dropping, teeth rotting sto Massachusetts under the attack of pandemic virus: mutated rabies pandemic ,spreading by saliva! The zombies who are fed by fresh human flesh are out there to attack you. Oh no, somebody is already knocking on your door. Paul please, lock the door, you gotta think your pregnant wife! Hey, who am I talking,too! Okay another Paul bites the dust in the beginning of the book as I start screaming, biting my nails.WTH, a high tension, heart throbbing, body hair epilator, jaw dropping, teeth rotting story( because of too much stress sugar eating) started with a shocking chapter. Very pregnant Natalie is so close to her due date, waiting for her husband Paul return back to home from grocery shopping safe and sound. He actually made it but a few second later, unexpected visitor brutally murdered him. (Or let’s stay massacred him.)With a bloody, dark, gory beginning! Do I want to go on? Oh, hell yes, I do!The next chapter we’re introduced another strong, badass heroine of the book: Dr. Ramola“Rams” Sharma in her mid thirties, pediatrician who may successfully communicate and empathize with her patients during the hysterical outbreak. She takes a call from Natalie who needs her help to get in hospital on time for giving her baby a chance to survive!Will Ramola help her friend in expanse to put her on life in danger? Yes, she will. Time is ticking! There’s not much left. Two women need to cooperate and bring Natalie in hospital just in time. Hands clenching, hearts pounding, feet tapping: you will be scared to breathe because of growing tension and thanks to the well crafted characterization: you will be truly root for these two women. Will they make it? Will they survive?Go on, get a copy for your own just like I did because my request from NG may have been directly sent to rot at the pending purgatory. This is heart crushing, dark, graphic, disturbing but definitely unputdownable, heart pounding, entertaining, well written story and I enjoyed each chapter, I sat at the edge of my seat, murmured prayers for the characters.Overall: I hated rabies! I hate all kinds of PANDEMICS! But I loved this book. Thankfully Paul Tremblay never disappoints me!
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I feel so disappointed. I feel like this is one of those times where I went into a book with way too high of expectations and I feel like this book had soooo much potential that was kind of wasted..? The premise for this book is freaking incredible and so cool and it had me so hyped. A rabies-like virus that has an hour incubation period taking over Boston... it sounded so epic! And it started off soooo good too, that opening scene had my This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I feel so disappointed. I feel like this is one of those times where I went into a book with way too high of expectations and I feel like this book had soooo much potential that was kind of wasted..? The premise for this book is freaking incredible and so cool and it had me so hyped. A rabies-like virus that has an hour incubation period taking over Boston... it sounded so epic! And it started off soooo good too, that opening scene had my heart racing.But after part one of this book, I got so bored and I feel like this story never really went anywhere. The ending was fine I guess but I feel like this entire book could've been a part one and I just expected so much more... I want to talk about something that's kind of a spoiler, (view spoiler)[I understand that I guess what this book is trying to say is the scariest part of going through a pandemic like this is watching someone you love die, and I completely understand and agree and I think that was written very well but I just wanted more from this story. I didn't care about the two teenage boy characters that we got introduced to. I feel like so much of this book was just them traveling and trying to get to the hospital and I didn't realize it would literally take the entire length of the book for them to do it. (hide spoiler)]Maybe I just had way too high of expectations but I was pretty bored with this one. After absolutely loving The Cabin at the End of the World, it's literally one of my favorite books of all time I had just assumed I would love this one too, but I'm sad to say it was pretty disappointing for me.I talk more about my thoughts on this book in this reading vlog: https://youtu.be/S9Xg82fEvuo
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  • Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
    January 1, 1970
    “Beware! Paul Tremblay is not interested in writing stories readers can walk away from unscathed. Survivor Song will leave emotional trenches in your heart long after you’ve finished trying to ugly-cry and read at the same time.”—Cemetery Dance review coming soon!
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  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    January 1, 1970
    4.0 StarsSpoiler Free Video Review: https://youtu.be/MsE0KapFSPcThis book holds all the trademarks of a classic Paul Tremblay horror novel and fans of his work will not be disappointed. Compared to his other horror books, this one most closely follows the narrative structure of Cabin at the End of the World with a similar level of action and suspense. Once again Tremblay provides his own literary spin on a classic subgenre of horror. In this one, he takes on the apocalyptic horror, but chooses t 4.0 StarsSpoiler Free Video Review: https://youtu.be/MsE0KapFSPcThis book holds all the trademarks of a classic Paul Tremblay horror novel and fans of his work will not be disappointed. Compared to his other horror books, this one most closely follows the narrative structure of Cabin at the End of the World with a similar level of action and suspense. Once again Tremblay provides his own literary spin on a classic subgenre of horror. In this one, he takes on the apocalyptic horror, but chooses to tell an intimate character focused story rather than the scaling epic normally found in the subgenre.Tremblay is easily one of the stronger horror writers writing and I am always so impressed by his prose. His books have a literary feel, although this story felt a bit more genre than his previous work. As usual, his characters were interesting and well developed. One of the main characters identified as asexual, which added a nice piece of underrepresented diversity to the novel.Reading this during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, I was floored by how accurately Tremblay predicted the details of this viral pandemic. From self isolation and quarantines to fights at the grocery stores, the book was certainly unsettling to read in the midst of the current events. This story could certainly be triggering to anyone suffering from anxiety during this crisis. Also, I should warn that this novel goes to some  dark places and will almost certainly mess with your emotions. There were certainly a few "gut punch" moments in this one.I am not the biggest fan of the pandemic post-apocalyptic genre. So if I enjoyed the subgenre more, I likely would have rated this one even higher. I found the setup to be quite engaging, but I found the mandatory tropes of the genre, like travelling to safety, to be a bit tiring to read.While the synopsis made this sound like a zombie book, it's really not. This became an ongoing joke throughout the novel with one of the characters constantly correcting everyone who inaccurately labelled the infected as zombies. There were no dead bodies rising back to life in this one, but rather a dangerous strain of rabies that caused humans to become delusional and prone to biting.If you are already a fan of Paul Tremblay then you should absolutely read his latest release. If you are new to his work, then this is a great place to start. I would recommend this one to readers looking for a horror story that combines a gripping emotional narrative with some strong  character work.Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher, Harper Collins.
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    A timely & terrifying readA viral strain of rabies is spreading across Massachusetts. It moves quickly among animals and people, with those being bitten rapidly (think hours) losing their minds and then biting others to spread the disease. Hospitals are overwhelmed. People are under quarantine, with packets of vaccine being dropped from the sky to try to control the animal population. Chaos reigns. Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman is a pediatrician, about to be called in to help at an overflowing hospi A timely & terrifying readA viral strain of rabies is spreading across Massachusetts. It moves quickly among animals and people, with those being bitten rapidly (think hours) losing their minds and then biting others to spread the disease. Hospitals are overwhelmed. People are under quarantine, with packets of vaccine being dropped from the sky to try to control the animal population. Chaos reigns. Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman is a pediatrician, about to be called in to help at an overflowing hospital. Before she can, she receives a terrified phone call from her best friend from college, Natalie. Eight months pregnant, Natalie watched an infected man brutally kill her husband--and received a bite while trying to save him. She must get to a hospital--and fast--to try to save herself and her unborn child. She and Rams begin a horrifying odyssey to get Natalie help, traversing a world filled with untold dangers. "The presentation of symptoms with this new virus is astronomically fast compared to a normal rabies virus." Okay, first of all, I rarely read horror books like this, but this novel was offered by my Scene of the Crime group, and I had heard such great things about Paul Tremblay. Second, I am trying to avoid pandemic-type reads and, yet, I found myself reading an incredibly pandemic, virus themed book! However, I have to say, this was a good book! I can't say I enjoyed it, because it was so incredibly stressful that I think my heart-rate and blood pressure were through the roof while reading this thing. BUT, I could not put it down. Tremblay has created an utterly spellbinding book that also happens to be incredibly timely. The tension in this book completely crackles. There's a virus spreading across the entire Northeast, but Tremblay focuses his action mainly on just Rams and Natalie. Somehow narrowing the story down on the survival of these two (and Natalie's baby) makes the story all the more terrifying and stressful. Their journey to get to a hospital is fraught with danger and blockages at every turn, and you can totally see this as unfolding a movie, with the "zombies" popping out around every corner. It still makes me shiver even now thinking about it. While this book is creepy and scary, it makes some amazing (and very timely) points on society and its backward viewpoint toward vaccines, fear culture, xenophobia, and more. I found myself nodding furiously so many times. And, of course, it's filled with words that are so familiar to us now--who knew that CDC, PPE, and quarantine would be such commonplace terms? Overall, while this is a very tense book and it might resonate a bit *too* much right now, it's very well-written. I flew through it--I'm not usually a horror fan, but it was a good balance of scary and humanizing. 4+ stars. I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins/William Morrow and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    This one has bite........Crank this up inside your mind.Your husband calls to say he's only minutes from home with the groceries. He pulls into the driveway and you sidestep against your very pregnant belly as he balances heavy bags in his hands. From out of nowhere comes a beast of a man with all the tell-tale signs of that horrendous rabies being inflicted upon the Boston area. Said man has forced his way into your kitchen and is viciously attacking your husband.But this is a lightning bolt of This one has bite........Crank this up inside your mind.Your husband calls to say he's only minutes from home with the groceries. He pulls into the driveway and you sidestep against your very pregnant belly as he balances heavy bags in his hands. From out of nowhere comes a beast of a man with all the tell-tale signs of that horrendous rabies being inflicted upon the Boston area. Said man has forced his way into your kitchen and is viciously attacking your husband.But this is a lightning bolt of reality for pregnant Natalie as she watches Paul being taken down by this unstoppable force. She grabs a butcher knife from the counter and stabs the intruder, but not before he bites her on the arm. Natalie grabs her car keys and takes off to the safety of her car. She's in a panic survivor mode and she knows that her best friend Dr. Ramola Sherman is the one person who can help her....and most of all her unborn child.Survivor Song is a tale of the world unraveling at top speed. A new more violent form of rabies has been set upon this community and it will take you down within the hour. Pets and wildlife roam the streets attacking cars and people. And in turn, people attack their own. Paul Tremblay has whipped up quite the story here. Now I know that many will slide this one to the side considering what the reality is for all of us with Covid 19. However, in this case, the fear gremlins live inside these pages. You can slam this book shut at will and keep the zombie-like creatures at bay until you pick it up again. Now that's a thrilling sense of power. Ha! Sometimes a trip to Zombie Land is needed every once in a while. Takes the chill out of the air.Survivor Song may not be for everyone. But if you enjoy an intensely written storyline with action around every corner, then this one fits the bill. Can't wait to see what Paul Tremblay has in mind for the next offering. Two-headed gargoyles or pod people who take over the universe? Hmmm....
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  • Ron
    January 1, 1970
    “This is not a fairy tale. It is a song.” The man comes with the sounds of barks and unintelligible sentences crashing through the doorway into the space of Natalie and Paul's home. They will fight him to protect one another and their unborn child, but because of the man's size and manic determination, he will win. Bite and bite and bite. It will become the beginning of an unwanted journey for Natalie, and a race against time. One that is forever without Paul, but necessary to save their chil “This is not a fairy tale. It is a song.” The man comes with the sounds of barks and unintelligible sentences crashing through the doorway into the space of Natalie and Paul's home. They will fight him to protect one another and their unborn child, but because of the man's size and manic determination, he will win. Bite and bite and bite. It will become the beginning of an unwanted journey for Natalie, and a race against time. One that is forever without Paul, but necessary to save their child. So she will seek the help of her closest friend because this journey cannot be taken alone. “As the sputtering big bad wolf disappears somewhere deeper into their house, Natalie quietly shuts the door behind her.” Early in, I didn't see how the frenetic pacing of the story could be sustained. One hour in book time equaled a hundred pages of momentum. But then the action expanded to include the thoughts of these two women and the intertwining past that connected them (thereby slowing the movement without sacrificing the constant pressure driving them forward). It can't be easy for a writer to do that, nor to combine elements of horror with human emotion, in ways that both scare and pull at our inner feelings. On this road, Natalie and Ramola will meet the good and the bad side of human nature. Some of these characters are of the type not to be forgotten, the selfless heroes. Tremblay does not fail to honor and remember them. But the best of this story is that which speaks to mothering and friendship. The kind that says I will do anything you ask of me, and I will never leave you behind. “The infected woman either does not see Ramola, or is too ill to cross the road and approach the house. She stays in her field and slow dances to a song all of us will one day hear.” Little time has passed since finishing the book, but I don't think I've liked a Tremblay story more, in many ways it's better even than A Head Full of Ghosts. Instead of trying to encompass the feat of an epic, the narrative here is contained and personal. One small community, and two women's plight against impossible odds.**PS. I came out on the winning end of a Goodreads Giveaway. My sincere thanks to William Morrow.**Survivor Song to be published on July 7, 2020
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  • Brian Keene
    January 1, 1970
    Quite simply, this is Tremblay's best novel yet. It's mean and fast, and utterly bleak, and full of equal amounts of heart and heartbreak. I loved it.
  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Paul Tremblay's back with his darkest book yet! Survivor Song takes place in the not-so-distant future, where ironically, there's a strain of rabies contaminating creating a country-wide pandemic in the United States. Natalie and her husband Paul are expecting a baby and have to navigate through this unconventional time with Natalie's best friend and doctor, Ramola. With this strain of rabies being so contagious and fast-acting, the country is in quarantine. When an affected person breaks int Paul Tremblay's back with his darkest book yet! Survivor Song takes place in the not-so-distant future, where ironically, there's a strain of rabies contaminating creating a country-wide pandemic in the United States. Natalie and her husband Paul are expecting a baby and have to navigate through this unconventional time with Natalie's best friend and doctor, Ramola. With this strain of rabies being so contagious and fast-acting, the country is in quarantine. When an affected person breaks into the trio's lives, panic and fast-acting solutions are necessary to ensure their safety and the wellbeing of Natalie's unborn child. Without going further, this book is wild. I think you need to know little-to-nothing about this book to enjoy. When I picked up Paul Tremblay's last book, The Cabin at the End of the World, I knew that going forward, I'd need to read anything else that he releases. Survivor Song is not for the faint of heart and definitely not something that you may want to read at this current time (damn you, COVID-19!), but it'll be released in July when things ~hopefully~ are back to normal. This heart-pounding horror/thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat!
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  • Dannii Elle
    January 1, 1970
    A viral outbreak is spreading as much political discord as it is fatalities. Healthcare workers are overworked and lacking both the proper protection and necessary remedies with which to treat the infected. The government is slow in spreading news but quick to enforce a curfew and lockdown to slow the spread of this so far incurable virus. Sound familiar? No this isn't an assessment of the current global pandemic I read this book in, it is the starting point for Tremblay's new novel.Wow, what an A viral outbreak is spreading as much political discord as it is fatalities. Healthcare workers are overworked and lacking both the proper protection and necessary remedies with which to treat the infected. The government is slow in spreading news but quick to enforce a curfew and lockdown to slow the spread of this so far incurable virus. Sound familiar? No this isn't an assessment of the current global pandemic I read this book in, it is the starting point for Tremblay's new novel.Wow, what an adrenaline-filled few hours I had devouring this book! My emotions regarding the virus featured, and the startling similarities it had to the current global pandemic, definitely aided in this almost crushingly tense reading experience. But whilst much of this felt initially relatable, the trajectory the novel progressed upon was something straight out of my worst nightmares. There were few pauses with which to gather my wits, my nerves, or a breathe before reader and characters were sent hurtling into the next scenes of action and chaos.Two central characters lead us through an almost apocalyptic Massachusetts and introduced us to a horde of authentic side-characters and insidious beasts that lurked in the shadows and came upon all unawares. I felt rather than read my way through this book, so thorough was this author in incorporating the reader into this story-line and so assured was he in his creation of atmosphere and suspense.I have enjoyed the previous work from this author, but this novel was on a whole new level of sick brilliance. If a mash-up of early King and zombie horror, with a sprinkling of the Purge and a heavy dose of Michael Chrichton, sounds like your thing, then you'd be wise to add this one to your tbr!I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Paul Tremblay, and the publisher, Titan Books, for this opportunity.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    So, I have to wonder about all these authors that have come out with novels about pandemics right in the middle of a pandemic...I’m not a conspiracy theorist or anything but I am wondering if there’s a conspiracy at work here...DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! Any-who... What makes Paul Tremblay’s books so freakin horror-licious and freaky-tastic is how realistic they are! I mean A Head Full of Ghosts is one of my all time favs and I still half wonder if that was a true story (when I’m not wondering if her he So, I have to wonder about all these authors that have come out with novels about pandemics right in the middle of a pandemic...I’m not a conspiracy theorist or anything but I am wondering if there’s a conspiracy at work here...DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!! Any-who... What makes Paul Tremblay’s books so freakin horror-licious and freaky-tastic is how realistic they are! I mean A Head Full of Ghosts is one of my all time favs and I still half wonder if that was a true story (when I’m not wondering if her head was full of ghosts or if her house was...). It was just that real! Now, this one involves a super amped up rabies virus that turns bitten people into foaming, mad, zombie-like, monsters in a matter of hours (or less, depending on how close the wound was to the heart), whose only goal is to bite everything they can reach. The story revolves around besties, Rams and Nats, and takes place over a very short period of time. We follow them as they try to get the seriously pregnant Nats help after one of the local, not-zombies rudely invites himself into her home. And instead of victims taking weeks to become symptomatic (as with real rabies), this version can have a you bitten at breakfast and munching on humans for lunch.So, yes, the book covers a very short period of time. I can’t say much more about the plot without major spoilers so, I’ll just say: s*it gets real! I loved this book!! It’s got all the good Tremblay-isms. Eerie setting, great characters to root for, crazy people, lots of action and something huge and horrible happening. It’s creepy and even though the plot is reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse, it’s so much more realistic than most in that category. This plot you could actually imagine happening. And I will say, one good thing about reading novels that involve a pandemic/plague during a real one is that the fictional ones typically make me say: ‘well, at least I know it could be worse. At least (most) people aren’t running around the streets bashing & biting each other (yet)!’ You always have to find that silver lining. I’ll admit, the ending was predictable, but in my opinion, that didn’t detract from the story at all. As with all Paul Tremblay’s books, I highly recommend this one and I’m so glad I won it in a giveaway, because I don’t think I could’ve waited another month to read it! Thanks to the Paul Tremblay, William Morrow & Harper Collins for doing the giveaway for this novel.
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  • Frank Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars, rounded down. I was really, REALLY looking forward to this one, and it couldn't have been published at a more appropriate time, with what's been happening in the world the last three months or so. I appreciated how developed and intimate the two main protagonists were, and you could feel the sense of urgency in Ram as she tried to help get Natalie to the hospital, but still felt a little disappointed overall by this one. I can't exactly put my finger on what it was, but I expected som 3.5 Stars, rounded down. I was really, REALLY looking forward to this one, and it couldn't have been published at a more appropriate time, with what's been happening in the world the last three months or so. I appreciated how developed and intimate the two main protagonists were, and you could feel the sense of urgency in Ram as she tried to help get Natalie to the hospital, but still felt a little disappointed overall by this one. I can't exactly put my finger on what it was, but I expected something more. I think perhaps it could of been the writing in some areas, and the fact that i perhaps thought this would have more infected people in it, rather than animals, which didn't feel as threatening or scary to me. I suppose I also thought this would be more of a continuation of Cabin At The End of The World, but more terrifying and with more detail, and it just wasn't. I'm sure i'm in the minority here, as I've seen fairly positive reviews overall, but this was just 'okay' for me. Not his best, but not a bad novel either. That's just about all I have to say, besides i'm still a big fan, just a little disappointed.
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4 rabies starsI read this one in one day! It seems WAY too timely since we are currently battling COVID-19. In the book, a rabies virus has taken over pets and wild animals and they have then infected people as well. There doesn’t seem to be much that the authorities can do – people should stay inside, keep their pets inside, etc. There’s a short incubation period and no vaccine.This one starts with a chilling scene when an infected man breaks into Paul and Natalie’s house. The man attacks them 4 rabies starsI read this one in one day! It seems WAY too timely since we are currently battling COVID-19. In the book, a rabies virus has taken over pets and wild animals and they have then infected people as well. There doesn’t seem to be much that the authorities can do – people should stay inside, keep their pets inside, etc. There’s a short incubation period and no vaccine.This one starts with a chilling scene when an infected man breaks into Paul and Natalie’s house. The man attacks them both and a pregnant Natalie flees. She reaches out to her friend Ramola who is a doctor. The rest of the book shows how quickly something like this can get out of control as the hysteria rises, vigilante groups spring up, and the medical community struggles to cope.Can Ramola get Natalie and her baby to safety? How far will she go for her friend? It’s a tense book and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out! It was disturbing to read during these times we are in, but it was just different enough from our airborne virus to make it manageable to finish. I will be locking my doors more securely after this when I get groceries!Thank you to Paul Tremblay, NetGalley, and Harper Collins/Morrow for an early copy of this one to read.
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  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    this sounds so freaking creepy i am so excited| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram this sounds so freaking creepy i am so excited| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    January 1, 1970
    This ended on a high note for me 👏👏👏 4.5 surviving stars!Survivor Song follows very much as the blurb on the book states, but it is the eerie experience a reader is placed in with the setting and circumstance that is happening with the rabies pandemic that makes this novel a dish for the senses. Natalie is 8 months pregnant. Her husband comes home with groceries and somehow, a zombie like and rabies-infected person gains access into their house at the same time and attacks them both. As her husb This ended on a high note for me 👏👏👏 4.5 surviving stars!Survivor Song follows very much as the blurb on the book states, but it is the eerie experience a reader is placed in with the setting and circumstance that is happening with the rabies pandemic that makes this novel a dish for the senses. Natalie is 8 months pregnant. Her husband comes home with groceries and somehow, a zombie like and rabies-infected person gains access into their house at the same time and attacks them both. As her husband succumbs, quite brutally beat up I must say, she can save herself and races off in her car...but not before getting bit!It's a race against time. According to the newest findings, a person infected by the virus can have as little as one hour before becoming symptomatic. A state in which the brain, gait, and overall body are affected before the immune system loses to a deathly battle within. An unborn child will not survive, so Natalie's baby has to come out!Ramola is a friend of Natalie's and a pediatrician, up and coming at that. She is in the middle of organizing for her emergency shift the next day when she receives a frantic call from Natalie asking for help. Ramola wants to get her to the next medical center to get her screened and medically checked out. As we have all seen it in this year of COVID, gaining access to important facilities becomes strictly regulated and procedural with check-in lines and requirements. Natalie has one thing going for her...she is guided through by a medical doctor. But this is not where this story ends. There isn't the right hospital staff available to take care of Natalie and or her baby, should it be born alive. So, they are sent off with an escort to make it to a different medical facility. Along the entirety of their journey, Natalie is pretty frantic. She keeps digital diary recordings for her unborn child, trying to process her fears and the loss of her husband. As a reader, prepare yourself for a long trek alongside the two in a world where chaos ensues, dark woods trap, zombie-like creatures roam and animal snarls echo in the distance. A dredging race on foot, on bikes and busses against time and a loss of hope. Will Natalie have this baby, safely, and will it live? Told mainly from the POV of Ramola, she has to assess the situation and make adjustments as best as possible. She is the grounding force behind the duo, while Natalie's understandably erratic behaviors can be somewhat obscure or also misleading. Ramola tries her best to keep her friend consoled and give guidance in the most calming way as possible. At some point, I probably would have said, screw this...but she sees Natalie through to the end. I have read one book of Tremblay's prior ones to this one and can't speak for any others, but my feel sais that he has an affinity with disturbances in the natural world and though there is a character-driven situation, the overall state of health of the world has taken a part in both books I read. What always stands out to me is when authors write characters of their opposing sex and do it well. To write about a female, pregnant woman and make it feel authentic and relatable is not as easy I could imagine but it felt really homogeneous. Survivor Song has two sections and across the entirety of the novel, there is a Prelude, Interlude, and Postlude beginning with "This is not...." that add a nice touch to the story overall. Those pages are of a different color and combined with the perfect hardback bind and book smell, I could not have been happier about experiencing this read. This book seriously is perfect in that sense. I enjoyed this novel and it kept up a tension overall. There was a small part along the middle that was a bit long for me, but I admit, I was really eager to find out what happens. As with the other novel I read by Tremblay, the ending was not what I expected, but I am ok with where it went. It ultimately still had my senses buzzing just in a different way from the main plot as the book commenced on a reflective note on part of one of the characters. And so with that, I look forward to more books by this author, because I realized, I need more of these kinds of books in my book diet. I hope this book sounds good to you as well and wish you happy reading!I won a copy of this novel at a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you as well as the publisher. All opinions are my own. More of my reviews here:Through Novel Time & Distance
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  • Thomas Wagner
    January 1, 1970
    I suppose every generation gets the disaster novels it deserves. The world slouches into the 2020s, with not only worldwide political turmoil spreading nationalist paranoia, but a sharp increase in the mistrust of science resulting in such disturbing trends as the anti-vaccination movement. Add the looming threat of coronavirus putting the world on edge and — well, I suppose it’s no surprise we’re seeing a return of the outbreak novel. Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers has staked a very credible claim to I suppose every generation gets the disaster novels it deserves. The world slouches into the 2020s, with not only worldwide political turmoil spreading nationalist paranoia, but a sharp increase in the mistrust of science resulting in such disturbing trends as the anti-vaccination movement. Add the looming threat of coronavirus putting the world on edge and — well, I suppose it’s no surprise we’re seeing a return of the outbreak novel. Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers has staked a very credible claim to being this era’s version of The Stand, and even The Andromeda Strain has gotten a sequel. Paul Tremblay, the acclaimed author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World, has now thrown his hat into the biohazard ring with Survivor Song.Unlike many other writers of apocalyptic horror, Tremblay doesn’t care to write on an epic scale. He’s an intimate storyteller, preferring to zero in on a small group of characters through whose personal ordeals we develop a level of empathy that larger-scale storytelling often can’t satisfy. Established fans of Tremblay’s writing will appreciate how the book serves as a sort-of sequel to his 2016 novel Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. If Tremblay has any big themes he’s pursuing here, it’s in the way this book is presented as an unapologetic and even forceful middle finger to the antivax movement, and he shares Chuck Wendig’s contempt for reactionary nationalist xenophobia into the bargain.Natalie is an expectant mother living in Stoughton, MA, near Boston, with her husband Paul. We fade in with the outbreak already well underway. No one is sure how this strain of rabies emerged, though it has been an unusually hot summer. Shelters have been set up for citizens who are not able, for whatever reason, to shelter in place. Naturally, Facebook groups full of frightened citizens spreading rumors and misinformation are helping no one. It’s a horrific situation, especially for a woman whose baby is due in fifteen days. And it’s about to get unbearably worse. (continued...)
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  • Armand Rosamilia
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a zombie book. Not only will the author (who I am quite fond of) tell you but one of the main characters will, as well. It is about a rabies-like virus and so much more. This book will leave you questioning how you'd act in an emergency of this magnitude. What monumental choices you'd need to make to save friends and family. To survive. Brilliantly written, as per the usual from this great author.
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  • FanFiAddict
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 9.0/10Survivor Song is a harrowing, unflinching tale of fear and survival during the first throes of a rapidly spreading epidemic. The author's use of emotionally-gripping storytelling and thrilling suspense, alongside moments of pure and unadulterated terror, make Survivor Song one of THE must-read horror novels of 2020. This may just be Tremblay's best novel to date.*Full review closer to publication*
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  • Stephanie (That's What She Read)
    January 1, 1970
    Just rip my heart out why don't you! Will write a more succinct review laterOoh, okay. So, at this point it's no secret that Paul Tremblay is one of my favorite authors around right now, and let me tell you this did not let me down. This story really blended the stressful and tense feeling that I remember from The Cabin at the End of the World and the heartbreaking moments from Disappearance at Devil's Rock.This novel opens up with a bang as a very pregnant Natalie sends her husband to the store Just rip my heart out why don't you! Will write a more succinct review laterOoh, okay. So, at this point it's no secret that Paul Tremblay is one of my favorite authors around right now, and let me tell you this did not let me down. This story really blended the stressful and tense feeling that I remember from The Cabin at the End of the World and the heartbreaking moments from Disappearance at Devil's Rock.This novel opens up with a bang as a very pregnant Natalie sends her husband to the store in the midst of a rabies-like virus that has swept the Boston area. From there it's a race-against-the-clock, nailbiting experience as Natalie and her friend, Ramola rush her to the hospital to birth her baby in the midst of chaos. Adding to the eeriness of the reading experience is how many of the things in the story played out with our own real-world pandemic. It was as interesting reading experience to say the least.
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  • Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
    January 1, 1970
    Oooph.I tore through this in just over a day and my head is reeling.I don't want to say too much, but I loved this.I loved the two strong-as-hell female protagonists and the teens they meet later in the story. Together it's them against the zombies AKA people and other mammals who are infected with super rabies as they make a harrowing journey to the hospital. Once again, Paul Tremblay hits you in the feels.There's some dog death, but it's well worth it and pertaining to the story.This is more t Oooph.I tore through this in just over a day and my head is reeling.I don't want to say too much, but I loved this.I loved the two strong-as-hell female protagonists and the teens they meet later in the story. Together it's them against the zombies AKA people and other mammals who are infected with super rabies as they make a harrowing journey to the hospital. Once again, Paul Tremblay hits you in the feels.There's some dog death, but it's well worth it and pertaining to the story.This is more than a horror story. It's about love and friendship and state of the world today. It'll make you cry, but leave you with a smile. Break your heart and then build you back up. And of course, it's scary because this could happen and it's all very realistically portrayed.I'll be thinking about this for a long time.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ All the stars for this emotional slaughterhouse of a novel.
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  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a fairy tale. Certainly it is not one that has been sanitized, homogenized, of Disneyfied, bloodless in every possible sense of the word, beasts and human monsters defanged and claws clipped, the children safe and the children saved, the hard truths harvested from hard lives if not lost then obscured, and purposefully so. ... This is not a fairy tale. This is a song.Clearly the above was written for Disney viewers too young to remember the absolutely heartwrenching nature of the olde This is not a fairy tale. Certainly it is not one that has been sanitized, homogenized, of Disneyfied, bloodless in every possible sense of the word, beasts and human monsters defanged and claws clipped, the children safe and the children saved, the hard truths harvested from hard lives if not lost then obscured, and purposefully so. ... This is not a fairy tale. This is a song.Clearly the above was written for Disney viewers too young to remember the absolutely heartwrenching nature of the older films, because this book is Fox and the Hound levels of inevitable sadness. Maybe it's partly the accuracy around outbreaks and the response to them - stretched budgets, naysaying conspiracy theorists, governmental ineptitude and all; I'd be interested to know if any of this was revisited mid-Covid but pre-publication, because if not then it turns out we really might be living in the darkest timeline, one Paul Tremblay tapped right into.It feels like a quick read, and the span of the book is, for the most part, only a couple of hours long. But it's less a quick read and more an attention-hole; I'd been reading a lot longer than I meant to when I finally finished and came back to the real world. It's a great book; I wouldn't necessarily say it's for everyone right now. (view spoiler)[Even the happy ending isn't, really. (hide spoiler)] But that's the beautiful thing about books. It'll be right here, waiting until the world is looking a bit brighter again, ready to make me care, and make me cry all over again.
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  • SheLovesThePages
    January 1, 1970
    This is what one would call a page-turner. A novel virus, similar to rabies has infected animals and humans....and so we follow the journey of Natalie and Ramola. Best friends. The whole book takes place within just a few hours. I would say that it's a very on-trend book-a disease that we haven't ever really seen, leadership that's lacking, masks, quarantine, overrun hospitals. Had I read this book a year ago it wouldn't have freaked me out as much....but now, all bets are off.I recommend this b This is what one would call a page-turner. A novel virus, similar to rabies has infected animals and humans....and so we follow the journey of Natalie and Ramola. Best friends. The whole book takes place within just a few hours. I would say that it's a very on-trend book-a disease that we haven't ever really seen, leadership that's lacking, masks, quarantine, overrun hospitals. Had I read this book a year ago it wouldn't have freaked me out as much....but now, all bets are off.I recommend this book!
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  • Janelle Janson
    January 1, 1970
    I mean of course I love SURVIVOR SONG. Of course! All the stars! Full review to come.
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