Cover Image: The Melt

The Melt

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Member Reviews

I've decided to finally give up. The politics are basically a copy of US politics right now and it's not unique or imaginative. I was also pretty bored throughout and had no motivation to want to finish it. Could have been an interesting story but unfortunately, it just didn't work.

Thanks to Netgalley for the book.
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As a subgenre, novels about pandemics seem to have a secure enough place, whether or not these constitute medical thrillers, or whether or not is is a question of looking at how the survivors cope in a world of a decimated humanity, its infrastructures smashed alongside city life.

This novel falls into the second category, although the details in the telling begin with a fairly prescient description of what might happen should a Covid-like virus take hold globally. Not all world leaders might automatically make the best decisions. The means by which an infection might spread remain mysterious. New diseases might emerge with the melting of the permafrost. Or the bug could have been manufactured. 

However, things move quickly from this point: this virus kills leaving only 5% of the population left. So it's about the survivors. Will they be able to start over with a clean slate, or will old social memes re-emerge as the perennial worm in the apple of our dystopia-- prone humanity?

These ideas are explored once the main characters emerge from their bunker. Being a survival novel, they did of course ghost their best friends, who knew about their shelter, but that is for starters. When they find their new community and start breadmaking, all is fine at first......

My main criticism if the novel is that the character of the antagonist to reintroduce that worm in the apple was perhaps drawn in a less-than subtle way: the writer has a point to make and shades of grey seemed to have been pushed aside somewhat to make this point.

Still, the story did engage. And who knows? As the Covid story continues to unfold, lessons may be learnt in the bear future just as quickly on how humans might need to manage themselves without resorting to older firms of barbarism.
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This is a great book.  It starts with the discovery of a body by some remote reindeer herders.  This leads to a full blown pandemic which, in view of the current Covid situation, makes me wonder how the author knew what was coming.  The description of the post pandemic world is horrifying and shows that catastrophes bring out the worst and the best in humanity.  It is skillfully written and gripping throughout. Highly recommended.
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Serviceable apocalyptic-virus-wreaks-havoc novel. Doesn't bring anything new to the table, but it's a enjoyable way to pass the evening. Writing is solid and characters are well-developed. Recommended for readers of apocalyptic fiction.
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With all going on in the world today, perhaps a pandemic book wasn't a good choice for me. However, I was more turned off by the continual political bashing in this book. I hear it on the news, social media, etc... I go to books to get away from the negativity. I just couldn't even continue to read this book. If you're okay with reading about basically what we hear daily on the news. This might be a good read for you. I however, as I said, go to books to get away.
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The book is about an end of world virus that reinfects the earth.   I enjoyed the premise that a thousands of years old virus unfrozen, reinfects the planet.  I did not understand how once it is released it burns itself out adter about six months.  The story holds you in your seat until the end.  It's an easy and a fun read.
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A deadly virus is discovered in a remote area and quickly spreads to the rest of the world. People are urged to protect themselves by washing their hands frequently, wearing masks and socially distancing themselves from others. Sound familiar? But this is far worse than what we are experiencing now. This is The Melt.

Part 1 is a gripping, heartbreaking thriller and a definite must read. Ethan and Rina bought their new house hoping to start a family. Instead, they are hunkered down the the basement bomb shelter that dates back to the 1950s as most of the world dies in darkness. This story of a couple’s desperate attempt to survive rates 5 stars.

Part 2 is very different and definitely not as compelling. Six months later, Ethan and Rina have joined the small settlement of New Hope. All goes well until differences in beliefs are revealed.

I don’t want to give details about New Hope but I found several of the characters to be pompous, over-the-top and totally unbelievable as are the events in the final pages. I wish the writing style of the first part had continued. 3 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, BooksGoSocial and Ann Werner for this ARC.
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The title and cover of this book are slightly misleading. They give the impression that the story centers more on global warming or the melting of polar ice. It doesn’t. 
But that’s not a bad thing, because it is still a really good story. It starts with the uncovering of a body buried in snow and ice. (That’s where the title comes in.) After that, a new virus begins making its way around the world. The story doesn’t focus on that, though it really doesn’t need to. Some of the events we read in the story are similar to events that have actually occurred in the COVID world. The story focuses more on the ones who survive the plague. 
I enjoyed the story and I’ll look for the next book when it comes out. That being said, the bad guy is exactly who you suspect of being the bad guy and for exactly the reasons you’d expect. Still, the story is engaging and I liked the characters.
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At the best of times, I am inexplicably drawn to dystopian and post apocalyptic fiction.  Therefore, given the situation the world finds itself in in 2020, I currently find it even more impossible to pass up on.  Ann Werner is a new to me author, who apparently started this book in 2016 but it was then delayed by personal circumstances.  Then as she came to finish it, Covid-19 reared its ugly head and the parallels between her storyline and our current reality are quite uncanny, to say the least.  I must admit to having a bit of an ironic cringe about how the "president" handles the situation - and his name!

This story starts with a mystery virus apparently emerging from the melting permafrost in Magnolia.  I enjoy post apocalyptic books which show you the start, what happens next and then how the few left cope with the aftermath - and that is exactly what this book does, and does well, so I found it wholly satisfying.

I found the pace just right, enough time taken to introduce and flesh out the characters, but not a moment where I lost interest because there was not enough action.  As I often find in novels - and real life - stories of disaster, it is often the humans themselves that I find scarier than whatever it is that has caused humanity to fall apart.  Never more so than here, where one of the main sub-plots definitely has shades of The Crucible.  The story itself is always believable - scarily so at times - as are the emotions and actions of the characters we meet, both good and bad.

This is a quick, easy, compelling read and I can't wait for the next instalment to find out what happens next to this little band of survivors - who I found myself caring about, which to me is the mark of a successful book.  

Because I don't like reading book reviews that give away too much of a book's storyline, I never want to spoil a book for anyone reading my reviews.  Therefore, they are always spoiler free, and reveal only what is immediately obvious, plus my thoughts on my personal reading experience.  This will sometimes mean my comments are a little vague so if you prefer more specific details on the storyline etc, please refer to the publisher's synopsis.
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