Double Review: The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak


It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead.

Though Layla recently returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she could never have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich as foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla’s help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that’s upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never along. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.

Wendy’s Thoughts:

Normally I am very easy to please when it comes to my books. I don't think I am harsh at all when it comes to my reviews. It is very rare that I have an extremely difficult time both rating a book and writing its review. I find myself in just such a position now.

Let me start by saying that upon beginning to read I was quickly sucked into the story. So much so I read it in its entirety in one day, pratically in one sitting.

The story starts out excellent! I liked the MC's and I mean its zombies...Whats not to like right?!
They have parts of the town secure and are keeping the zombies at bay. Everything seems ok, then a few of the "townsfolk" come down with a flu in the middle of the zombie outbreak.

To me this could have been a real turning point in the story. There are so many directions that the author could have taken this "flu" and turned it into something else... Alas that didn't happen, it was just a flu.
Roughly 3/4 of the way through the book. The "Big Bad" changes and we are no longer fighting Zombies but now its Vampires. So, ok I figured by the end of the book the two will have some sort of tie in right? Wrong. I think the author would have had TWO seperate and fantastic stories if they would have been seperated. It was almost as if the two had been stuck together so the finished product was the proper page count.

As for the ending. There was no closure at all, just a "Where did they go?" kind of cliffhanger, I guess, for lack of a better word anyway. I was really livid by the time I finished the book. I was so into it and still hoping for that dramatic moment, it was disappointing when it didn't come.

The last section of the book made absolutely no sense at all. The characters were completely different and the setting was back to right before the zombie breakout. To me it was like reading an excerpt or beginning of another book. In no way was it the end of what I had just spent the day reading.

So where does that leave me with rating the book? I was unable to put the book down and that alone is the reason I am giving it the 2 star rating. If it hadn't been for that it would have been lower.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5

Jen’s Thoughts:

Beware, this review is spoilery…and a bit of a rant

This book was…well I don’t even know a word for it. It was almost like the author had three ideas for books but none were long enough so she put them together into one. It felt so disjointed because the different parts of the book didn’t mesh together well. Because of this, I decided to review the book in three parts.

First Half – The first half of the book was the best part in my mind. It was interesting and action filled.

We meet the main character, Layla, and get a small glimpse of her life in D.C. and her love of ancient weapons. Then before you know it she’s traveling across the country because of a mysterious call from her grandma. I wish I could have learned more about her life in D.C. but the story continued and didn’t look back. Soon enough Layla is in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. She ends up being the savior to the town she grew up in. Everyone looked to her as a leader amidst the chaos. And then you close in on the half way mark and something happens that really bugs me. She’s a good leader, protecting them, saving their lives, and giving them survival plans only to have not one single person follow her in making one VERY important decision. Not One!! It was ridiculous.

I will rate the first half a 3.5 out of 5

Second Half – After the ridiculousness of the town not listening to Layla, the book takes a turn and goes in a completely different direction. Exit zombie apocalypse and enter killer vampires. Wait what? Where did the vampires come from?! Apparently they were there all along (who knew) and decided to strike while the striking is hot. After all, a vampire’s got to eat right?! This change of paranormals, along with a totally new location, threw me off a little. There is again some action in this part of the book which I think was a saving factor.

I will rate the second half a 3 out of 5

Last Chapter - The last chapter completely changed direction AGAIN with a whole new set of characters and yet another location. This chapter had nothing to do with the rest of the book…other than the fact that it may or may not have taken place concurrently with the beginning of the book. I started reading the chapter and I literally went back a few pages to make sure I didn’t miss something. I was thinking WTF and then decided that surely the author has a plan and maybe these new characters in a totally different setting will somehow be worked into the book and make sense. But no such luck. I ended up being frustrated pissed when the book ended. Why…just why end the book like that!? It made no sense and I probably would have rated the book higher if this one chapter hadn’t been included.

I will rate the last chapter a 1 out of 5

Overall rating: I averaged out the three parts and came up with an overall rating of 2.5 out of 5

The Harvesting on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Author's website


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