Jonathan R. Miller
A husband and wife are staying in a hotel on a remote islet when the sickness comes. In a matter of days the resort is overrun with the ill and the dying, all of them lost in a psychosis brought upon by the disease. The islet quickly falls, and the only safe haven is Cãlo, a southern township that the locals —- the indigenous population who used to serve as resort workers —- call their home.
The couple is forced to flee into La Sielve, the wildlands, and what follows is an out-and-out struggle for their very survival, a series of unnerving trials that test their bodies, minds, and their relationship with one another.
They soon learn that the islet is not the only place affected by the sickness, that it’s everywhere, and that the carriers are only those with European heritage, and at first the husband and wife —- him biracial, her African-American -— believe they may be immune, that they may be able to ride out the collapse. But when they begin to notice signs of the sickness in themselves, in each other, they start to wonder if they’re really as healthy as they hoped.
A story of love, loss and the struggle to maintain one’s humanity in the face of animalism, The Mortis explores the lengths we will —- and sometimes won’t —- go for each other during the crises we face, and delves into themes as diverse as marriage, culture, race, societal structure, and ideological rigidity. Available June, 2014.
The premise of this story immediately drew me in because it’s just so much more than the horror story of a freak epidemic. It also entails what happens to personal relations within that situation which just promises to take the whole story to a new level. Once I received the physical copy of this book in the mail (Thanks again Jonathan!) I got to reading it right away. Despite my swift start in this book I needed a lot of time to finally finish this book. It definitely wasn’t because of the quality of the book, but rather an unfortunate convergence of situations.
In this book we follow the husband and wife throughout their fight for survival, and what a fight it is! There are just so many layers to their survival that it’s difficult to discuss them all, especially without spoiling the book. Just read the synopsis and know that Jonathan R. Miller doesn’t do obvious writing. All of the themes that are drawn into the story aren’t written in an “in your face” kind of way, it’s much more subtle and let’s you come to your own conclusions. Personally I really enjoy it when the author trusts the reader to be able to figure out things without having to point it out multiple times.
Throughout the book the writing is just really enticing, as I had come to expect after reading Delivery. While in the beginning the pacing is a bit slower to allow some attachment to the characters to be formed, it really picks up the pace along the way, to keep your interest sharp throughout the whole book. For me there were only some minor flaws. And while the reasoning of some became apparent throughout the book, it did leave me slightly irritated at the time.
Overall I really enjoyed this apocalyptic story a whole lot. It definitely veered away from many clichés which was very refreshing to read.