Book Review: Survivor Song

SURVIVOR SONG | Paul Tremblay
07.07.2020 | William Morrow
Rating: 4.5/5 stars


In a matter of weeks Massachusetts finds itself overrun by a deadly rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. Unlike regular rabies, this virus has an accelerated incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect anyone in their path. Hospitals are inundated. Hysteria is taking hold. The commonwealth is under quarantine, but that isn’t stopping people from civil unrest. Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman receives a frantic phone call from her friend Natalie who is eight months pregnant. Her husband has just been viciously attacked by an infected neighbor and Natalie has been bitten herself. Natalie’s only chance of survival rests in Rams’ hands and the clock is rapidly ticking for her and her unborn child.


Living in the age of a global pandemic with COVID-19 has me reaching for more and more books about a similar subject matter. Instead of being creeped out by these books, I find myself drawn to them and fascinated by the human reactions within their pages. SURVIVOR SONG is the perfect novel for this time period, brimming with a rapidly spreading virus and mass panic.

SURVIVOR SONG focuses on Ramola and Natalie, a pair of friends desperately trying to make sure infected Natalie is able to give birth to her child. The thought of being pregnant while there are people succumbing to a deadly and intense new type of rabies is absolutely terrifying. I can’t imagine going on the journey that Rams and Nat take through these pages. There are so many instances where I would have let panic overwhelm me and yet this pair keeps going. It’s a true testament to Tremblay’s writing with his ability to fully immerse the reader in this situation. 


I love that Tremblay was able to write this entire book based on events that take place over only a matter of hours. There are of course some supplement details that come from a larger time period, but the bulk of the story is short in relation to time passing. I’m always blown away when writers can manage to pack so much detail and plot development into a brief time period. The shortness of time within SURVIVOR SONG truly felt like there was a clock ticking down while reading and watching what was happening to Rams and Nat unfold. The sense of tension and suspense is unbelievably realistic within this book!

I’m a huge fan of horror movies and have a soft spot for any sort of zombie situation, so before I started this book I had a sneaking suspicion I would love it. Tremblay does an excellent job of making those infected and in a zombie, want to eat your flesh, type of mindset seem realistic without verging into the over-the-top stereotypes the characters easily could have gone. 

SURVIVOR SONG is not just a story about a virus taking over and infecting a population. It is a story about friendship and the determination to reach an ultimate goal of survival. There is desperation and heart mixed within these pages to combine for a captivating read!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon Book Depository

A huge thank you to William Morrow for my gifted copy!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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