Land of the Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith
Publication date: October 29, 2015
My rating: 5 stars
I could not put it down.
I could not, for the life of me, put this book down.
This book, of 715 pages, and not for one moment did I want to put it down. Not for one moment was I bored or needed a break (willingly, that is).
"Could I come with you at least?" "No." "Sorry, my mistake, I said that wrong. What I meant to say, I'm coming with you."
It's been so long since a book made me this crazy mess of sitting for hours upon hours until my eyes got blurry and I forgot to eat.
It got to a point in the book when something happened, when the protagonist was planning to do something, that my heart was racing and I was literally shaking.
I cannot even.
I think the last book to evoke this... this state in me was A Court of Mist and Fury (another mess of a masterpiece - mess as in me, and a masterpiece as in the book).
Pick it up. Pick it up and give it a try, because oh am I glad I did.
The first few pages may confuse you with some new terms in this post-apocalyptic world, but trust me when I say once the protagonist meets her target, things just spin and never stop spinning.
In the best, and sometimes worst, possible way.
"One person against the world never wins." "And yet, you're here." "I'm not against the world, just you. Makes the odds about even, as I see it."
So what is this book actually about?
In short, this is a Beauty & The Beast if the beast was an evil overlord who thrust the world into the apocalypse and raises the dead, and the beauty was a determined farmer girl on a personal mission to "talk him out" of his zombie armies. Whatever it takes.
But oh, this is so much more than that.
This is life and death in it's most simple yet philosophical forms.
This is about human nature. This is about monsters. This is about hope and nightmares and everything in between.
This is a story I would highly recommend you to read and am honestly shocked is not more popular than it deserves to be.
My only warning is that this book does contain mature content and is definitely not YA.
And for those of you who want to know if this story has a happy ending (because I always want to know myself), then the answer is yes.
"You were all my best days... and most of my worst ones, too, but that's all right. The worst ones weren't any worse than they might have been with anyone else, but the best ones were so much better. I love you."