Although this reviewer has been a fan of Paul Tremblay’s since his breakout hit ‘A Head Full of Ghosts’ I have to admit to not loving his recent output.
Short stories anthology Growing Things has its moments but is very inconsistent whereas I found a sense of detachment from The Cabin at the End of the World.
So I was little cautious when starting his latest output, Survivor Song. Thankfully I was rewarded with what could be his finest story to date.
Survivor Song feels oddly timely given it is set around a worldwide pandemic and the paranoia and false information this can involve. It almost feels like it was written yesterday given the echoes of real-life (especially here in the UK) with some considering the whole thing to be a hoax and others battering down the hatches as lockdowns are imposed.
Tremblay like Stephen King, thrives on focusing on small pockets of characters plus he really knows how to write from a female perspective. This may sound odd, but some male authors cannot assume the female point of view, but Tremblay manages it with ease.
We focus on young nurse Ramola and her heavily pregnant friend Nat who must negotiate a rabies-like virus which is spreading amongst humans and animals in New England.
Survivor Song begins at a breakneck pace with not a chapter wasted to get us into the thick of the chaos before levelling out with rich characterisation of our protagonists.
This is ideal for fans of a short read too, clocking in at just over 200 pages.
Assured and adept, Survivor Song is a tune worth listening to.
Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay is available now from Titan Books.