When The Cicadas Stop Singing by Zachary Ashford

Wow, what a ride! It’s difficult not to read this in one sitting as the pace is absolutely frantic. This is going to be a short review: buy this book now.

Ashford has created a post-apocalyptic world where humans have been hunted to the point of extinction by a race of humanoid lizards.

The opening scene sets the tone for what follows. Our heroine, Cara, is being pursued by one of the lizard people. It’s a great scene and shows us everything we need to know about Cara – tough, resourceful and in fear of losing her humanity. It also establishes the nature of the apocalypse, and all the information we need is given to us in approximately two sentences. Quite an achievement!

Other characters are soon introduced, but the novel’s focus is almost exclusively on Cara and her struggles. To say anything more would go into spoiler territory, and I’m not going there.

For me, this is an easy book to recommend. It has a well-drawn and realistic main character who is easy to root for, several horrific scenes (one of which had me going ‘Jesus, Zac, really??’), short chapters which really propel the action forward and it is a great fun read.

Horrific Tales have another winner on their hands here and I will definitely be reading whatever Ashford comes up with next.

Highly recommended.

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