Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Chasers (Alone #1) by James Phelan

Chasers centers around a group of four 16 year olds that hail from different countries around the world. Jesse (our main character telling the story), Dave, Anna, and Mini survive a horrific subway crash in New York, only to surface to the end of the city... maybe the world... as they know it. Everything around them is destroyed and those left around them are thirsty. Nothing seems to satisfy them including the human blood some drink from dead bodies around them. The kids hole up and watch the city crumble around them. The story comes ends with an unresolved cliffhanger and weird, twisted ending.

I was hesitant to pick up this book due to some of the so-so reviews, but I'm glad I did. I would definitely pinpoint the audience for young adult. The language and progress of events would keep a younger audience engaged without boring them to tears with details. The gore and ick was kept at a minimum that was appropriate for the storyline, and there were a few s-word bombs. What I appreciated in this storyline was the character's real human traits and emotions. Their decision making was on par with a 16 year old trapped in a crazy, possibly bombed out city.

My only few complains was the lack of quotation makes to separate the conversations between different voices, but I sort of understand where the author was going once I read the end. The book moved fairly slow in some parts and took a while to build up, but I never felt bored reading this book. I will definitely be reading the second book to figure out what the heck is going on.

(From James Phelan is a Melbourne-based writer. He has studied and taught writing at a post graduate level, and has been a full-time novelist since the age of 25. His first book was the author interview collection LITERATI: Australian Contemporary Literary Figures Discuss Fear, Frustrations and Fame (John Wiley & Sons, 2005). His thriller novels featuring investigative journalist Lachlan Fox include FOX HUNT (Hachette, 2006), PATRIOT ACT (2007), BLOOD OIL (2008), LIQUID GOLD (2009), RED ICE (2010). His ALONE trilogy of Young Adult post-apocalyptic novels are titled CHASERS (Hachette, 2010), SURVIVOR (2011) and QUARANTINE (2011). James has written for a variety of newspapers and magazines, having worked at The Age from 2000-2006, and has contributed to short story anthologies and serialised novels, including: PICTURE THIS (Penguin, 2010), WATCHLIST (Vanguard, 2010), and the GET READING! anthology (2011). His latest novels are a thriller introducing a new character, Jed Walker, THE SPY (Hachette 2013), a 13-book Young Adult series THE LAST THIRTEEN (Scholastic, Sept 2013 and monthly in 2014), and several other projects. You can find James at