Review: Death of a Saint by Lily Herne

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

PhotobucketDeath of a Saint (Mall Rats Trilogy #2)
by Lily Herne
Publication Date: 1 April 2012
Publisher: Puffin
Format: Paperback; Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Buy the book: |Exclusive Books|*For now these books are only available in SA. But they will be published in the UK in 2013.*
Secrets. Everyone has them. But what if your secret is something so unthinkable that you can’t even admit it to yourself? Lily Herne returns with Death of a Saint , the next instalment in the Mall Rats series. Exiled from the city enclave for crimes against the Resurrectionist State, teen rebels Lele, Ginger, Ash and Saint — aka the Mall Rats — are hiding out in the Deadlands, a once-prosperous area now swarming with the living dead. With the sinister Guardians breathing down their necks, the Mall Rats face a stark choice: return to the enclave and try to evade capture or leave Cape Town in search of other survivors. But what if the rest of South Africa is nothing but a zombie-infested wasteland? Will they be able to survive on the road if all they have is each other, or will their secrets tear them apart? After all, only Lele knows the shocking truth as to why the dead leave the Mall Rats unscathed — knowledge that she can’t bring herself to share. And she’s not the only Mall Rat harbouring a dangerous secret….|Goodreads|
Death of a Saint follows on from where the first book, Deadlands, left off. Co-written by mother and daughter team, Sarah and Savanah Lotz, under the pen name Lilly Herne, Death of a Saint offers a refreshingly new take on the normally clichéd ‘zombie apocalypse’. The action packed storyline combined with an interesting array of characters makes Death of a Saint a fantastic addition to the South African literary shelves. 

The story alternates between the POV’s of Lele, the main character from Deadlands, and Saint, the fierce zombie butt-kicking member of the elusive ‘Mall Rats’. In the latest edition of the trilogy the group find themselves leaving the Cape Town area and venturing further north in search of fellow survivors who are also immune to the creepy zombies that haunt the towns and cities. As they make their way further north they encounter some friendly, but also not so friendly, survivors and they find themselves battling the humans rather than the zombies. Their journey leads them to discover that the zombies are the last things they should be worrying about, as the infestation has turned their fellow humans into ruthless and cold hearted beings, almost on par with the undead. They soon realise that they didn’t have it all that bad down in Cape Town.

I read Deadlands shortly after it was released and I really enjoyed it. I thought it added fantastic flare to local fiction and I loved that SA had its own YA author talent as well. Death of a Saint was just as exciting as Deadlands and I especially enjoyed reading from Saint’s POV. I love her character and I found her much more enjoyable than Lele, the original main character. Saint, being the tough zombie fighter, made Lele seem rather boring, and she overshadowed her in my opinion. I loved Ash in Deadlands and I loved him in Death of a Saint. He’s dark and mysterious and I hope to discover a bit more of his back story in the next instalment. Ginger adds humour throughout the story and he is a lovable character all around. I enjoyed being introduced to his love interest, Ember and I really hope that she features in the next book. The ending was an almighty cliffhanger, which I was really annoyed about, but in a good way. I hope it’s not too long a wait for The Army of the Left because I’m dying to know what happens next. 

The writing style was good although I did find the pace slightly slow-moving in some parts. But the story does pick up and by the end I was definitely sitting on the edge of my seat. 

All in all Death of a Saint was a good read and a great sequel to Deadlands. The fact that it takes place in my hometown, and features a shopping mall that I often frequent, made it even more entertaining for me. It adds an intriguing side to the multifaceted zombie genre and I eagerly await the last installment in the trilogy.


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