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Ian Blackport’s novel Those Who Remain tells the story of two sisters, Mallory and McKayla, doing everything they can to survive following the decline of civilization due to a waterborne disease that turns its victims into violent and deadly beings known as “Stricken.”  However, the Stricken aren’t the only thing threatening the sisters, they also have to deal with the survivors of society’s downfall, many of which have also become ruthless and aggressive in an attempt to make it one more day in the harsh wasteland of the former United States.

Blackport’s strongest part of this book is the relationship between his main characters.  Their sisterly bond and love for one another is the primary plot mover here, and there is rarely a moment when you don’t feel the strength of that bond in the story.  The other aspect of this novel that I really enjoyed was the growth and development of both Mallory and McKayla throughout the course of the story.  It’s interesting to watch how they both change in their own ways to become better and stronger people.  It also helps that the change feels natural, never forced in any way.

I did have a couple of issues with the book.  First, after reading it for a while, it tended to get a little repetitive.  I can’t say too much without giving anything away, but Mallory and McKayla seem to talk about the same things more than a few times throughout their travels, and find themselves in similar situations time and again.  My second issue, is that there’s nothing terribly new or interesting about the antagonists that the sisters face.  If you’ve read or watched many zombie stories, you have a basic idea of the creatures as well as the vile survivors that still inhabit the landscape.  It just feels like so many other stories that I’ve experienced before.

Minor issues aside, I would recommend checking this one out based on the strength of the two main characters alone.  The antagonists here are nothing terribly original, but the power in the relationship of the two sisters is strong enough to overcome all of that.

Those Who Remain can be purchased on Amazon.

The Verdict for Those Who Remain:
4 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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