Severed by Gary Fry

When an unknown virus is unleashed on London, it turns everyone in its path into violent, zombie-20742681like killing machines, leaving their souls separated and floating away to form a giant halo above the capital. Flesh and spirit, dead and alive, they are both. They are severed.

As a beleaguered government brings in scientists to work on an antidote, the problems become even more complex. The virus spreads. The mayhem grows. There’s no solution in sight and time is running out.

Enter Stephen Hobbs, a hard-drinking, womanizing academic with a violent past of his own. Due to his special skill set and experience, he is enlisted to figure out what the virus is and how to stop it. Despite his own demons, Hobbs may very well be humanity’s last chance to survive becoming…SEVERED. – Goodreads.com

This book demonstrated what could happen when a person loses the capacity to exercise moral restraint and chooses emotions versus morals – and it was not a pretty sight.  Imagine if you were able to actually say what you really thought to someone and act on any emotion you felt with no regret or remorse.  Mayhem doesn’t come close.

There really weren’t that many likeable characters in this book – in fact, most were loathsome.  The MC, Stephen Hobbs, was especially hard to connect with, but on the flip side of that, his character arc was profound, making made him more intriguing than likeable.

This was a quick read and the action started from page one, so I appreciated the fact that the backstories were woven in instead of having to sift through the first several pages to get to the real plot line.  Naturally, in a book of this genre you have to suspend disbelief, but if you enjoy this type of book, that’s not a negative.  I’ve also read Conjure House by this author, review here, a creepy novel I’d recommend to horror fans.

Something I missed with this novel was the lack of anyone to root for, a charismatic protagonist instead of Stephen Hobbs, who was more of an antihero.  I also felt like his mother seemed to be two different people, at times making statements that seemed inconsistent to her character.

DarkFuse is an independent publisher of modern horror, suspense, and thrillers and after reading a few of their books, I can say I haven’t been disappointed.  Severed is scheduled for publication April 1, 2014.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

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