Book Review: ARV-3 by Cameo Renae

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It seems as if those infected with the ARV-3 serum survived the apocalypse, but there were major side effects. There was something in the serum which caused them to mutate. They have become violent cannibals.

The creature was completely hairless, and its skin creased with countless wrinkles, appearing scabrous and leathery. It was horribly pale. Purplish blue veins protruded and snaked all over its body.

You can probably tell that this is a book about an apocalyptic world where a virus has spread. A serum that was supposed to save the people that were not fortunate enough to get to a hive underground turned them into cannibalistic monsters instead. Think The Walking Dead but with faster zombies/mutants.

Overall, I thought this book was okay, but damn did I love the scenes with the mutants, called Arvies. I love the action, the chase, and the feeling of being trapped. This book got me in the mood to read other zombie books because it keeps you on your toes. You never know when an Arvy is going to pop out of nowhere, and eerily enough they’re not brainless. They communicate. That was, hands down, the best part of this book. There were guns. There were swords. There were bombs. In other words, I love the action.

For this reason, it is a shame that the second half of this book took such a drastic turn. It went from being a kickass survival story into an average teen drama.  Action was still there at times, but I wasn’t kept in suspense. I wasn’t itching to read what was next because it didn’t have the same feel or atmosphere at all. I would have easily given this book a three or four stars, but because of how average I thought the latter part of the book was, I cannot bring myself to do so.

Just as I had it focused in my sites, its milky white eyes snapped up to me. What the –? It took me off guard, and was freaking me out, because its eyes never left me. It suddenly bared its teeth, and then… It held up its decrepit fingers, like a gun, and pretended to shoot me!

This is the kind of stuff you find in the first half of the book.

“OMG! Are they hot?” She whispered giddily, taking hold of my shoulders.

I hesitated. OMG. Was she serious?

OMG! Was he freaking serious.

This is the kind of stuff you find in the second half of the book. Abi, the main character, and her friend Tina are constantly snickering and giggling, and it just takes away from the whole feel of the book. OMG yeah.

The romance in this book wasn’t very interesting. I just never had a chance to see them as being romantically involved before the main character spelled it out for the reader. What happened to subtlety? I do, however, love the tight-knit group. Even though they’re not all blood related, they act as a family, protecting one another no matter what, and it’s very touching. I love the family dynamic going on here, and it’s one of the best parts of this book.  Plus, Abi is pretty kickass.

Overall, I am interested in seeing how this plays out, but at the same time, it’s not on my top priority. In the next installment, more action and Arvies would be great.

A tear trailed down my face as we stepped further and further away from our past and headed north toward our future. 

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