Ever since I read Joan’s ‘SHADOWS’ (reviewed here) I knew that Joan was a writer that I would continue to enjoy – and with her novella, OASIS, I wasn’t disappointed.
OASIS falls into the Zombie-Apocalypse sub-genre of Horror, yet it’s also an exploration of character- and family bonds in the face of horror and unrelenting danger.
The world of OASIS is a blasted wasteland – the planet has been ravaged by powerful and deadly solar flares, which decimated the world’s population and also changed humanity at the cellular level. The tale begins with a family that finally emerges from the relative safety of their bunker, having practically no choice but to brave this terrible new world – and when they finally do emerge, they are thrown into a situation that tests them on every level.
OASIS is a short tale -you can read it in one sitting- but Joan managed to illustrate the relationship this family has, gives us insight to how they managed to survive and keep their sanity, and how the isolation of the bunker and not knowing what was happening in the world affected them. When they emerge from the bunker and join up with a group of soldiers, they begin to realize that the world has changed utterly – the desolate, water-bereft landscape brutal and memorable, the effects of the solar flares hammered into the reader.
When the true danger that this group must face finally emerges, Joan does a great job of ramping up the tension, but also manages to interject some humour into the tale, nicely breaking the often grisly descriptions of wounds and violence. I also enjoyed the characters and how they reacted in the situations they faced – there isn’t ‘one’ hero upon which the plot turns, no easy way to fix what’s happened to the planet, no easy way to survive; but OASIS is in no way a bleak tale.
OASIS is sharp, brutal, spiced with humor, and a great addition to the ever-growing sub-genre of Zombie Apocalypse tales. It stands on its own and yet again showcases Joan’s great talents with words and storytelling. If you’re looking for a quick read that’ll give you thrills, terror and zombies, or if you’re a fan of Joan’s expansive and creepy imagination 😉 then this book is for you. 🙂
8 / 10
Until next week,