Audiobook Review: Bite by K. S. Merbeth
Narrator: Stephanie Willis
Also by this author: Raid
Published by Hachette Audio, Orbit on July 26th 2016
Length: 9 hours
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...
Bite is not the book I was expecting, but I loved every minute of it. For some reason, when I read the synopsis for this book, I got it in my head this was a horror book which was completely wrong. Don’t get me wrong, there are some horrors in the book and world, but it’s a very exciting post-apacolyptic story that follows the journey for survival by one young woman. The world and land has been devastated by nuclear weapons, water and food are scarce, and the surviving people live in a free for all type of world where raiders and worse roam, destroying any semblance of order or safety. Our protagonist is a young woman, traveling completely on her own for several years since the death of her father. This is a dangerous world for anyone to be on their own, but probably particularly so for women. But she is often mistaken for a boy, which probably works to her benefit.
Her life changes when things start to look the darkest for her. She is hungry and thirsty, traveling alone in the desert. She starts to resign to her fate when she crosses paths with a group of outlaws that pick her up and essentially save her life. This group does not use “real” names, but assigns them. Our young protagonist is labeled “Kid”, which is all we will know her by. There is also Wolf, Pretty Boy, Tank and Dolly. None of these characters are perfect people, because who can be in a world like this? But she begins to trust them, she can see positive attributes in each of them and feels like she has a place for the first time.
Now, time to make things more interesting. Kid runs into a dilemma with her new found life as she learns her companions are not merely common outlaws, but are “sharks”. Now, just the name “shark” lets you know anyone labeled this way is cut throat. A predator, not prey. And in this world? To be labeled a shark? Well, lets just say that puts you at the top of the food chain. In a world with scarce food, they will eat anything. Or anyone. Yep. She’s found herself in a group of cannibals. She must decide if she can reconcile that with her position in the group. Can she continue to see good in this group of outlaws who eat people to survive? This makes them the most hated people in this harsh world. But really, sometimes people are faced with horrible decisions, and when its their life on the line they might make choices that would otherwise be unthinkable.
I really can’t stress how much I enjoyed this one. I found the pacing and tone, everything to be exceptionally well balanced. It was never too overwhelming or bleak, never too cliche or predictable, never too far fetched, to be honest. And it was certainly never boring! Not even close. Highly recommend.
Audiobook Note: I really enjoyed the narration for this one. It really is the perfect type of story, that lends itself incredibly well to narration. It dives straight in, and is easy to follow. Willis’ performance captured the tone and emotions very well, enhancing the reading experience. Highly recommend.