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...

Review || Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

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.


Review first featured in Unnerving Magazine  #13 - Get your copy here!

Not just another apocalyptic zombie book, Survivor Song is exactly the read you didn't know you needed while on lockdown during a global pandemic. Tremblay wastes no time setting the stage. Immediate agoraphobic anxiety is created as Natalie waits and worries for her husband to get home. The tension is palpable then and for the entirety of the novel as ticking time-bomb Natalie and friend "Rams" are put through one nail-biting moment after another. The pacing is cutting and well-schemed, leaving you breathlessly waiting for the next blow.

An eerie credible likeness of 2020's COVID-19 woes—from the lack of PPE to the Presidental underreaction—is painted as the protagonists face this new rabid reality and set off on their own. Woefully bleak, Survivor Song is emotional and visceral with characters you immediately can find relatable. Tremblay's ability to convey human emotion sometimes even overshadows the plot. From the difficult decisions to the heartbreak, it's hard not to become emotionally invested in these characters, knowing it will just gut you when it all goes pear-shaped. Even then, it's not all doom and gloom. While the overall storyline is dark, ultimately the undercurrent is humanity, friendship, and standing with someone through it all.