The Memory of Animals by Claire Fuller, published 20 April 2023.
There is a terrible pandemic. It might be the zombie apocalypse. Neffy has volunteered to take part in a drug trial to find a vaccine against this weird form of dropsy. Told from her perspective the story follows the first days in the trial’s weird hospital ward, interspersed with letters to “H” that include a lot of octopus factoids. Soon the drug trial starts.
What follows is more 28 Days Later than I Am Legend, plus Lord of the Flies/Big Brother style group dynamics.
There is also a weird, and totally unexplained and absolutely unnecessary, memory device that Neffy uses to relive her memories; why, Claire Fuller, why? Flashbacks or drug (trial) related dreams weren’t an option?
The story ends much later than it made sense to me. This ending was probably supposed to be the optimistic outlook of the rather pessimistic novel, but it felt off to me.
2.5/5 Harpy Eagles