I love horror. I love seeing horror movies, listening to horror podcasts, and reading horror novels. Every Halloween, I binge-read the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe because I just find his work so fascinating. So when my partner and I went to the library and saw Bleeding Earth, a horror apocalyptic novel, on the shelves, we just had to check it out. And I'm glad we did!
The story follow Lea as she struggles to survive a world covered in blood, bones, and hair. Sounds interesting, no? The premise is so intriguing! I've never read a book where the end of the world is happening as the characters were living their normal lives. Usually books take place after the apocalypse has happened. So this was an interesting take on the genre.
I'll be honest, the writing is nothing special. Not that it's bad in any way. It's just very simplistic. I didn't fall in love with the way Ward writes descriptions of scenery nor did I fall in love with her character portrayals. Yet I did fall in love with her ideas and the way she executed them. I loved how she wrote about the world being nothing but an ocean of blood. I love how she described the gore and horror of what this world became. The writing may be simple but it helps the reader envision the dire situations these characters are in throughout the entire novel without making it overly complicated. My one complaint about the story as a whole were how desperate the characters want to hang outside because "there's nothing to do at home." Are you kidding me? With the world ending, there's no way anyone in their right mind would want to be outside. And I know there's the whole "psychosis" disease that comes with the blood if you come in contact with it, but the characters were talking about being outside in the blood before that disease took place. And there's plenty of things you can do at home! You can read a book, watch YouTube video, binge-watch a show on Netflix, play video games, exercise, etc. There's a million things to go at home. Why the hell did these characters only cared about going outside and partying?
Speaking of characters, I feel they are the weakest aspect of the book. Lea, the main character, falls into a lot of "teenage drama" tropes. In fact, a lot of the time, she was bratty with her parents just to be bratty. Not to mention that she acted really stupid throughout parts of the novel. Who the hell wants to go to a party in the forest when the world is being swallowed up in blood? Who would even want to party at a time like that!? But I digress. Lea is definitely not the most annoying character I've ever read about but she certainly did a lot of moronic things for no other reason than just because she could do them.
Then there's Aracely, Lea's girlfriend. She's actually not a bad character. I found her the most intriguing out of all the characters in the book. She starts off shy and reserved. She really likes Lea but wants to keep is a secret since she is not out yet and that's fine. You should only come out if you're ready and safe to do so. And I love that, throughout the novel, we see her grow and become more comfortable with who she is. Hell, she even becomes a badass! I do like her, I just wish we got to explore her more. Aside from seeing her grow into a more determined person, we literally know nothing else about her. Not her past or where she came from. Very little is known about her and I wish she was explored more.
The side characters are really nothing too special. Hillary, Lea's best friend, is kind and always willing to be there for her friend, but she literally contradicts herself when she believes her boyfriend (who's a jerk) over her friends. It made no sense why she would be upset with Lea for treating her boyfriend harshly when he was literally taking advantage over a drunk girl. Speaking of that drunk girl, Mikayla was forgettable. She was only in the book just to have that scene in the park and served no other purpose. Cadence, another friend, couldn't even remember her friends long enough to invite them to said party. Felix is nice but apparently has a big mouth. And they are all just kinda... there. None of them, aside from Hillary, served any point to the plot other than to be a nuisance. All these sides characters were just so shallow that I did not connect to a single one.
Another thing that bothered me about this novel was how it ended. No spoilers but... it left a lot to be desired. I was hoping for a bit more closure and I did not get that.
But with all my critiques, you might be wondering why I gave am recommending this book then. Well, because of how engaging it was! I couldn't put the book down. I HAD to know what was going on. I HAD to see where it was going to end. I needed to know why the Earth was like this and how they were going to resolve it all. I liked this book because of its diversity. We have two queer girls in a relationship and one is a PoC. I liked this book for the world it presents. I liked the anticipation it builds and intrigue it instills. Basically, I just had a lot of fun reading this book.
Do I recommend this book? Yes. But to only those who are looking for a horror/gore-filled diverse adventure. It's not without flaws but it is an entertaining book. Keep in mind that this book has descriptions of blood, gore, violence, murder, and suicide. So if any of that might be triggering for you, then do not read this book. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy reading this despite the flaws. It really is quite the fast read.
I received a copy from Netgalley.
DNFing at 62%. I just can't stand to read anymore. When I first saw the blurb for this one it was a must have for me. A bleeding earth with a lesbian protagonist. Want want want. Unfortunately, I did not like this book one bit. The premise was initially quite interesting, for reasons unknown, the earth suddenly starts to bleed. Not gushing torrents but enough to rise panic and deep concern.
The characters were idiots. The main character in particularly acts so childishly it got to be so ridiculous I can't even finish the book. She came across as so...above it all. When things start taking a turn for the worst, she snipes at one point that the world renowned scientists on the news are idiots cause they don't know what's going on. It was like...the earth is bleeding and its icky...but so what?
She's reckless and cares more about sneaking out to hang out with her friends than listening to the logic supplied by Mum and Dad to stay home and safe indoors. The air is stinking, the blood is rotting, there's bones showing up and hair which for some reason seems to at one point try to drown her in the blood. So what does she do? Sneak out with her friends and have a party and dare someone to drink the blood.
There are snatches of incidents of people panicking - grocery stores are overrun and people are acting violent, people are attacking others over respirators. But again its like...so?
The sneaking out to party and drinking the blood were just ludicrous. I was ploughing through this thing to find out what...if anything....happened but I simply do not care anymore.
Thank you to Netgalley and Egmont for approving my request to view the title.
The earth is bleeding, yes bleeding. Blood is coming out of the ground, and it has scientist scrambling to find answers to why the earth has decided to unleash human blood upon itself. In the beginning it was just inches but within days the amount grows and it becomes disgusting as it begins to cause problems around the world. Just like any other major catastrophe, people panic and everyone has their theories. The religious sector start to scream their predictions, the president tries to calm his people and everyone is told that it is nothing major but when things don’t return to normal within days, things start to get out of hand very quickly. The excitement of this drama and the creep factor of the blood made a good match for this book and I didn’t put this novel down all afternoon. There was mixed feeling among the citizens, some believed that life would return to normal and then there were those who at the first sign of danger went into survival mode and started doing whatever they could think of; these individuals were serious about making it out alive. It’s bad enough that there was blood covering everything but soon there is human hair and bones mixed in the blood. Imagine walking around outside in that scenario, the mess and the stench that would follow you. Dwell on that thought for a while and you can imagine what these people are waking up to every morning and they were told to just deal with it? The characters in this novel are not only dealing these issues but also with family and relationship problems. Lea is worried that she will lose her partner Aracely, as they don’t spend enough time together. Aracely hasn’t yet told anyone that she is gay and she hides their relationship which worries Lea. Lea is told by her father when things get progressively worse to travel to his workplace where she will be safe. Trying to convince her mother to live their house, she notices that her mother is acting strangely; they don’t have much time to waste. What transpires next I was not ready for but it was exciting and great drama. I was not happy with the ending and that is why I reduced my star rating from a five star listing. The ending was too hooky for me, it was if a curtain was pulled back and we started another scene, like ta-da. I can’t say more as I don’t want to ruin the book or someone else might like the ending, I just didn’t care for it and I really loved the rest of the book. This book immediately takes off and it leads you on an interesting adventure with great twists and turns, it was a brilliant piece of work.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Egmont USA in exchange for an honest review.