I'm a girl who loves a good scare. Most of the books I read, I would say 80% of them, fall under the horror, paranormal, apocalyptic, and/or dystopian persuasion, and I am a SUCKER for zombies.
I purchased Cure on my iPhone app on a whim one day when I was looking specifically for a horror zombie thriller (that is totally its own awesome genre), and once I started reading it I couldn't stop. I know it's cliche, but it's true. I really enjoy books that keep the story moving at a quick, yet comfortable pace - and Cure had the added benefit of also being REALLY WELL WRITTEN. The dialog is sharp and the prose is clean, and what's more, the characters have real depth, which is important to me because when I read I like to put myself in the characters shoes - Belinda's writing made it really easy for me to do that.
I could imagine what it was like to be Miranda Penton, to be leaving a complicated relationship after losing two very important things in her life, to be nervous about starting a new job - and then to find out that the new town you moved to has had this strange problem lately with women disappearing.. so many women.
Miranda goes to work at the Nixon Center, a medical facility with an evil director, Dr. Howard Nixon. Miranda thinks that Dr. Nixon is trying to cure cancer, but what she will soon find out is that he is, well, essentially inseminating women with zombie sperm. So yeah, THE HORROR.
Miranda gets caught in Nixon's trap along with other patients and employee's of the Nixon Center, who we get to know in pretty great detail, and I say that happily. Some of the writing reminded me of a less neurotic Stephen King, which is a compliment as I love the way he writes. The supporting characters in this book all have enough depth to understand their intentions in the story and the motivations for the choices they make, because in the end, I feel like this was a book about desperate choices.
How far would you go to save someone you barely knew? What if your ex-wife left you and broke your heart - would you do anything you could to save her life now, even sacrifice your own? But more than anything, the question becomes - What would you do for the greater good? What would you do to save the world from zombies?
By the middle of this book, the pace really starts to pick up and there are a ton of great action scenes. I've read a lot of thrillers lately, and I am finding as I read (and as I write) that action scenes are HARD to get right. Writers have the tendency to either explain too little so you are confused about how much of an impact the actions will affect the story, or things are explained in such minute detail that you roll your eyes with boredom. Belinda's writing falls right in the sweet spot, where there is exactly enough information for you to be able to picture the scene, but the description does not slow down the pace of the story. I think this will make a great movie, and I am happy to know that the Strandville Zombie Series has already been optioned for film.
This book really does have it all - a woman's quest to start a new life, a lingering romance, a man so terrified that he will lose his wife to cancer that he will allow hideous things be done to her in the effort to save her, blood and gore (just imagine yourself being pregnant with a zombie in utero), more blood and gore (because ZOMBIES), being chased by homicidal maniacs through a hospital filled with, yup, the zombies. And then the building sort of catches on fire.
If you want to read a fast paced, action packed medical thriller that also adds the fabulousness of horrifying zombies and zombie babies - CURE is the book for you.
Oh, and the next book in the series will be out in Spring of 2013. It will probably have more zombie babies in it. I say that's a win.