- K. S. Merbeth.
- 376 pages.
- Horror / Thriller / Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Post-Apocalyptic / Fiction.
- My rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Kid is trying to survive in a world gone mad.
Hungry, thirsty and alone in a desert wasteland, she’s picked up on the side of the road by Wolf, Dolly, Tank and Pretty Boy – outlaws with big reputations and even bigger guns.
But as they journey across the wild together, Kid learns that her newfound crew may not be the heroes she was hoping for. And in a world that’s lost its humanity, everyone has a bit of monster within them…
I received a free copy of the book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bite is a post-apocalyptic adventure taking place in a desolate and barren wasteland filled with all sorts of weird, wonderful and vicious characters.
The book tells the tale of Kid, a youngish girl (16yrs old) who is left alone wandering in the wastes at the beginning before joining up with a group of sharks – Wolf, Dolly, Tank and Pretty Boy (no spoilers from me, if you want to know what a shark is then read the book yourself – it’s well worth it). And, from that point on they embark on an adventure together across the wasteland with Kid slowly becoming a part of the group as the story progresses.
The core group of characters are all well developed with top quality characterisation bringing them to life through the pages as individuals, each with their unique personality. Wolf, the leader who always has a plan. Tank, a big boy who is well, large and resembles a tank, the muscle. Pretty Boy, the good looking coward. Dolly, while the others are all very vocal during the book Dolly is far more quiet and stoic letting her badassery do the talking for her. And, the Kid, a little bit hopeless and not very good at things, Kid is the opposite of the other members in the group who all already know their place in the world and have discovered who they are over time spent in the wastes, but for Kid, Bite is her journey to finding herself and belonging, even if that place she belongs is with such a weird group as Wolfs mob of unruly miscreants.
Wolf himself was my personal favourite character during my reading of Bite. He is surprisingly charismatic often having me smirking at his banter, language, general lack of morals and care and of course his berating of Pretty Boy. Also, quick mention to the group dynamic on a whole, it’s great with each character being different and Merbeth giving them their own place in the group.
There’s definitely an eclectic and myriad mix of diverse characters populating the landscape in Bite, townies, raiders, crazies, the Queen and Saint with a few various other minor characters thrown in along the way. And, unlike most post-apocalyptic books out there Bite forgoes adding zombies into the mix, which is a nice touch as let’s be fair, most media of certain genres seems to contain some type of marauding undead hoardes nowdays, be it slow and meandering shufflers or fast and psychotic zombies they have over saturating the market and can be found everywhere.
Just like with the characters the world building is also top quality and of a high standard. With the desolate and sun drenched wasteland setting much like the characters themselves being brought to life by Merbeth’s descriptive writing style. Small towns, larger communities, bunkers, damaged buildings, trader caravans and the lack of food and water (and the threat it brings) all play their part in the landscape making for a tough journey for our group.
Merbeth has a fast paced, vivid and descriptive writing style that pulls you into Bite as you follow the group lurching from one predicament to the next. It couldbe said that the core group of characters with the exception of Kid shouldbe unlikeable, but they’re not and you find yourself liking them more and more as the story progresses. I liked Kid, she’s a great choice for the main character. Bite is her journey but she’s more than ably assisted along the way by the rest of the crew and while Bite is Kids journey of growth and belonging it’s also the crews story and thanks to Merbeth’s writing it’s a captivating story.
Bite contains all the good things that are own inner raider requires for a fun filled time. Violence, gore, action, swearing and guns, guns and more guns but also some lighter moments to. While the crew aren’t sentimental there is the odd occasion of some slight semblance of emotion to be found thrown into the mix and humour, there’s plenty of laughs strewn across the wasteland in this action packed read.
While I do like losing myself in big and heavy tomes, being a fantasy and post-apocalyptic fan it’s part of the genre that most of the books are huge and hefty chunks of time and reading. It’s nice to occasionally kickback and read something that’s simply fun. That’s what Bite is, big, bold, brash, loud and unashamedly fun! It’s a wild ride that I thoroughly enjoyed from the first page through to the last.
Bite is Merbeth’s debut book and deserves to do well. It’s a full throttle blast that left me wanting more! Sequel please! 🙂
As it’s a book review, I’ve not mentioned the aspects of Bite that reminded me of games I’ve played. I felt it would be unfair to those reading this review who aren’t gamers themselves as you wouldn’t get the references. Mad Max is a series of films so you’ll understand when I say Bite has a definite Mad Max feel and vibe to it, but for any other references they would go over your heads which seems unfair and is why I’m mentioning them at the end after I’ve concluded the review.
For all you gamers out there Bite has aspects of both Fallout and Borderlands incorporated into it. Now that’s certainly not a bad thing as both gaming series are awesome. Fallout is far more serious and Borderlands is just a fun romp. The barren landscape in Bite reminded me of Fallout, the bunkers, derelict buildings, small towns and bigger communities and the tower are all very reminiscent of the countless hours I’ve spent playing various Fallout games (for me, Fallout 3 is the best). And, the crazy cast of characters reminded me of Borderlands, the humour of the group, along with the variety of vehicles, the guns (oh, so, so many guns in those games, Wolf and his motley rabble would be in heaven).
So, for the readers like myself who are also gamers. Bite is what would happen if Mad Max, Fallout and Borderlands met, drank themselves stupid, ended up spending the night together in a seedy wasteland hovel and partook in some unprotected three-way drunken debauchery. Nine months later a baby would come out into the world kicking and screaming and that baby would be Bite! Pure awesome!
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