Isn’t the cover of this graphic novel beautiful? As soon as I saw it I knew I had to read it. But friends, don’t be like me and assume a pretty cover means a nice, carefree story, because Ever After by Olivia Vieweg is the total opposite. In this story, the main character Vivi is trying to escape not only zombies, but the ghosts of her past as well.
I had no idea what to expect going into this graphic novel and was totally surprised when I realized that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world filled with the undead. Readers who aren’t a fan of horror, or more specifically, zombies, may have been put off if they were in my shoes, but I loved every single minute I spent reading Ever After. This story was an unexpected perfect match for my reading tastes, and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it on NetGalley.
Ever After follows the story of Vivi, who lives inside a protected city. However, she quickly finds herself on a supply train heading out into the open world that lies behind the fence, with another girl who is hiding a deadly secret. Along her journey she fights for her life, stumbles upon a strange helper, and relives some of her biggest fears. We see how strong and resilient Vivi is, and how she makes friendships that help her survive in this cruel, dark world.
I really enjoyed how the past was weaved through the story, and explained a little bit about what happened to the character’s earlier on in their lives. It helped create stronger backstories, and added a bit to the world-building as well.
However, if you’re looking for a specific explanation regarding the zombie outbreak, you won’t find one. While this may be frustrating for some readers, I found it rather refreshing. I’ve read my fair share of zombie books and get a little tired of those details. It was nice to read a story that was specifically about survival, and coming to terms with life in a ravaged world.
The artwork in this graphic novel was also breathtaking. It added a whole new level of horror to the story, and many of the pages were truly terrifying to look at. I especially loved the aspects of body horror; the plants were so beautiful, yet eerie and deadly at the same time. I couldn’t decide if I’d run away in terror, or stop and stare, only to slowly become entwined in vines myself.
Ever After would be perfect for fans of zombie stories, body horror, or horror in general. However, I will also include a content warning for attempted suicide, so please be mindful as needed.
Thank you to the publisher, Lerner Publishing Group, for sending me a digital copy of Ever After by Olivia Vieweg via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ever After comes out on September 1, 2020, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.