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Review – Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi

Where did you get the book: Netgalley

What Publisher: NLA Digital

Release Date: Out Now

 

Can true love survive the end of the world?

Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice–between her family–and Chris Parker, the boy she’d given her heart. Now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he’s the only thing on her mind.

All Chris “Chase” Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed–breaking his heart without ever telling him why.

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones to a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk…and feed. As they begin their pilgrimage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost–all while attempting to save what’s left of the human race?

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

 

There has been a couple of revised and reissued books recently that were previously published towards an adult audience but have been repackaged and revised for a YA readership. Tomorrow Land which was released under the now defunct paranormal/scifi romance Shomi line (oh how I missed this imprint) with the original title Razor Girl is now re-released as a post apocalyptic dystopian with revised content aimed at a YA audience.
Tomorrow Land is set sometime in the future and the story is told in the POV of Chase and Peyton in alternating chapters. It flashbacks to just before a worldwide epidemic of a virus that transforms people into zombies and the present during the aftermath with the survivors coping with this dangerous new world. Peyton Anderson emerges from her family’s bunker after 4 years in seclusion with her mother, while her father who had warned and prepared his family for the upcoming apocalypse.  Her mother who was unable to cope to venture outside has committed suicide but Peyton has a quest to meet up with her father who has a secret base in Disney World and she holds the key that may save them all.

When she encounters her old boyfriend, Chase and his brother along with a group of children and young teens surviving  in a Walmart. She is faced with the same decision several years ago where she chose her father’s desires instead of escaping with Chase to hide out in the mountains. But she is now forced to acknowledge her old feelings of guilt on how she left things with Chase. However she is driven to reunite with her father at his base but when tragedy strikes with the death of Chase’s brother, Peyton is drawn to protect and guide the group to her father’s haven.

While I liked that the book was told in both the POV of Chase and Peyton, I did feel that the alternating flashback and flashforward scenes was an interesting way to explain and set out on how the virus mutated and spread which was via an anti-AIDS vaccine. It also helped to show the development between the more innocent and carefree Peyton and Chase before the virus outbreak and how much they changed and hardened during its aftermath. Although I liked that their relationship was established, I didn’t think it worked very well romantically because even though they had past history it felt like when Peyton first encountered and interacted with  Chase, it was very much like meeting with a stranger instead of an old love.

There wasn’t much of a connection even though it was understandable that they would feel awkward with each other especially on how Peyton left Chase stranded.  They were definitely two different people when they were reunited, and with Peyton being upgraded with ocular and razor sharp, Wolverine like implants as well as intense training to defend herself from her father’s behest. While Chase who changed his birth name to fit in this new world is now more hardened although develops an addiction to pain-killers to help cope with  this new environment. He also has to cope with the responsibility of taking care of a group of young teens and children. But I never got the sense that they really had a past even with the flashback chapters and in a lot of ways it did feel like two different stories and characters.

However the romance does progress in a satisfactory way when they are reunited, and I liked how it was developed although the issue of Chase’s drug addiction, was  a bit jarring. I loved this issue was raised because it was realistic and if there was more time to develop it – I think I would have been more satisfied. But how it was initially approached and resolved was far too quick and any realism was lost because it was unrealistic because I felt he got over it too quickly especially since it looked like he was hooked for years.

And that is the main factor with this book, – issues or themes were raised which held promise but how it was executed just didn’t work for me. There were a few inconsistencies and coincidences, such as the beginning, when Chase’s brother dies by an infected member of their group. There were hints about him being infected but nothing was done to deal with the situation and that didn’t make any sense and it felt forced. There was another instance when they come across a town which is reminiscent of something out of Mad Max Thunderdome, because Chase is forced to fight in a cage-match with zombies after being tricked and captured. There were no questions on why Peyton who comes to rescue him about who she is and it made me wonder about the  real deadly impact of the virus and the zombies. It felt like there were only a few pockets of survivors but this town ends up having death matches with zombies and is accustomed to having strangers visiting regularly and that threw me off slightly from the story.

However despite the flaws and niggles, I did enjoy the main premise and tone of the book and there was some good tense and creepy moments with the zombies and action sequences. Although I have to say I really enjoyed the pre virus outbreak chapters which was far more interesting for me because of the build-up of the romance and characterisation as well as the setting with an autocratic  type like government and technology. I just felt the post apocaylyptic elements didn’t work as well because of the plot holes and inconsistencies in the characterisation and plot.

There is a whole slew of Zombie Apocalypses books out right now, and although this book may not have hit my high note, it was an enjoyable read, with some good elements.

I give Tomorrow Land a C

By Has

Has is a voracious reader and a geek at heart! She is a fan of most sub-genres of romance and fantasy, but especially loves fantasy and some sci fi. She's currently looking out for historical romances with unusual settings, and fantasy romance, in the vein of Anne Bishop and Elizabeth Vaughan who are on her list of favourite authors. She's also a fan of authors such as Tamora Pierce, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Ann Aguirre, Lisa Kleypas and Nalini Singh. She is always on the look out for new authors and loves the feeling of discovering a brand new author and books she loves.

4 replies on “Review – Tomorrow Land by Mari Mancusi”

I have this one on my TBR and haven’t really known what to expect from it. Thanks for the heads up. I’m still planning on reading it, but it’s good to get a few balanced reactions.

@Angie:

I do hope you enjoy it and although I didn’t read the original version from what I gathered there wasn’t much of a difference other than changing the characters ages. I think the main problem for me was the plot holes and the lack of past connection with the characters. But I did enjoy the pre zombie chapters because the setting was better explained and well thought out.

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