A reality TV show launches 12 contestants into the woods, fending for their own survival and the chance to win a huge prize. The last person able to survive alone wins the money and bragging rights. Cut off from the rest off the world, they are left to their own devices to survive in the wilderness and win the competition. The producers of the show give nicknames to each contestant; our protagonist is Zoo. She’s plucky and bookish, and has a hard time adjusting to life outdoors at first, but quickly adjusts and becomes a formidable player. So much so that she continues advancing far beyond what she even expected from herself. When she begins coming upon staged corpse dolls and deserted towns, she can only assume that the producers are pulling out all the stops so she’ll quit. But she has her eyes set in the prize, and won’t be deterred, even if the bodies look very realistic and the looted stores are super convincing sets….right?
Oliva brings a new twist to the dystopian apocalypse novel. Instead of bringing another mass plague novel into the market, she added a new layer to the mix: what if you were cut off from society, either by choice or by accident, and had no idea a plague had exterminated most of the human race? I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and a page turner. I finished it in under 2 days. The one drawback was the ending, it felt a bit rushed after the building up from the rest of the book.