Thank you to Lerner Publishing Group for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: Ever After by Olivia Vieweg
Release Date: September 1st 2020
Tags: Graphic Novel | Sci-Fi | Zombies | The Undead | Germany | Mental Health | Depression | Anxiety
Trigger/Content Warnings: Graphic Violence | Attempted Suicide | Murder | Derogatory Terms for Mental Health Institution
Vivi and Eva are two travelers in a countryside filled with the undead. After a train breaks down, stranding them between safe zones, the young women partner up to stay alive. Vivi is struggling with grief–and guilt–over the loss of her sister. Eva is hiding the start of a horrifying transformation. Together they’ll face heat, zombie hordes, and their own inner demons, searching for signs of life in a land of the dead.
What initially pulled me to requesting this title on Netgalley was the art on the cover and the name of the author, Olivia Vieweg. The name sounded Dutch or German and as a Dutch person I always find that interesting. I was right. Olivia Vieweg is a German author who originally published this graphic novel in German back in 2012. As such this takes place in Germany.
The story follows two young girls, Eva and Vivi. The world as they knew it changed 2 years ago when the zombie apocalypse started. Now many of the cities are hidden behind gates with a non-human operated train going back and forth between the cities for supplies. Vivi was taken into a mental health ward when she was found. Eva has been working at the gates.
The first thing I noticed is that the art isn’t as consistent as the cover would suggest. They try to keep the feel of the cover going throughout the graphic novel but it doesn’t always work. The colors of the sky in the cover feels whimsical and with a story with as much graphic novel and heavy emotions it doesn’t feel quite right. The colors are somewhat muted. On the other hand I also think this is just the style of the author.
While the book is close to 300 pages I felt I wasn’t getting enough world building as a whole. What triggered the zombie apocalypse. What about the rest of the world? How does the weeds taking over the zombie infection work? I have so many questions about these things and they should have been answered. Especially as this is a standalone work.
The characters are dealing with a lot of things. Vivi is dealing with the grief and guilt of the death of her sister. Eva feels abandoned when the apocalypse started and is dealing with a zombie mutation after having been scratched. There are a lot of themes of mental health in here. On occasion I thought it was done well. But for the most part I still felt like I wasn’t getting what I really needed in this book to truly feel something for these characters.
All in all I felt that the story just felt unfinished at the end.