Friday, 3 August 2012


Hav3n by Tom Easton
Paperback, 398 pages

Expected Publication: 2nd August 2012 by Andersen Press

My shelves: apocalyptic, arc-or-review, awful-cover, books-i-own, coming-up-next, currently-reading, dystopian, if-i-were-a-boy, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, sci-fi, young-adult

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:
A killer virus has struck, and only one community has survived, in this gripping, dark and witty psychological thriller.
When the newspapers start talking about a flu pandemic, Josh Pirbright is sure it's just media hype. As the son of the most eminent epidemiologist in the country he knows better than to get hysterical about a virus. Until his father phones from the laboratory with a dark warning, and the newsreels start to show dead bodies piled in the streets, before cutting out altogether. It's time to man the barricades in the picture-postcard village of Great Sheen, and Josh, his sister Martha and best friends Sam and Kitty are on the front line.
Hav3n is the story of an epidemic and of its aftermath; of being a teenager when all the rules have changed. Life within the claustrophobic confines of the protected village (renamed Haven after the disease that nearly destroyed it) is full of increasingly bizarre rules and secrets, with Josh's father at the heart of the intrigue. What is behind the villagers' survival? And how is it linked to the increasingly despotic behaviour of the adults ruling the New World? There's only one way to find out.

Buy this book:

My thanks go to Andersen Press for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

I hadn't heard of Hav3n until I was kindly offered the chance to participate in a blog tour for the book. I like to read every book that I feature, so I began reading this one as soon as I got my hands on a copy. Whilst the cover did put me off slightly, the premise sounded absolutely fantastic - just like something I would enjoy! I couldn't wait to start it.

One of the first things I want to say is that if you're put off by the cover, please try not to be. I've shown a couple of people the cover and the reception hasn't been great - it looks very boy-orientated and the helmet is a little strange as helmets don't play any big role in the book - I think it's a little misleading. This book is about the aftermath of a plague that has destroyed a lot of animals and most of the human population. It's a little bit dystopian, a little bit post-apocalyptic - something that will intrigue a lot of young adult readers!

We are introduced to a group of people living in the village of Little Sheen who are slowly contracting the deadly disease, Hav3n, one by one. Thankfully, a man called Michael who has family in the village, manages to find a cure in his laboratory and comes to the aid of the villagers. However, by then the rest of the world has succumbed to the disease and have died - leaving the villagers as the only survivors on the planet. We follow the villagers as they try to form some sort of government and try to build a community that will survive and grow.

There are several characters in this book, all aware of each other and all who have their own thoughts and concerns about this 'New World' that they will live in. The story is centred mainly around Josh and his family - his sister Martha and parents Judith and Michael. I thought the relationship between Josh, Martha and their friends Sam and Kitty was really great to read about - it felt genuine. I also found the issues of partnering and 'breeding' for the next generation to be interesting, but I think it could've been explored more. Michael plays a huge role in this story and I had conflicting emotions when it came to him - he was certainly an interesting, complex character, who I really wish we had gotten to know more about. I absolutely adored his wife Judith and I also enjoyed reading about the other villagers who seemed authentic.  

I did enjoy reading this book - I thought that the idea of a virus that was attacking the whole of mankind was gruesomely interesting and the opening pages certainly pulled me in. For some reason I found myself reading this book quite slowly - I'm not sure why though as it was very fast paced - something was always happening! I think that, at points, some things were happening a little too quickly. I know some of the quick actions were intentional, to up the pace, but some events felt quite rushed. I think that there was huge potential for this book to actually become a trilogy or series, but as a stand alone it was still enjoyable - I realise a lot of people will actually appreciate this being a standalone as you don't have to wait to find out what happens! 

Tom Easton clearly has an active imagination and has used it to create a quite captivating story for young adults. I look forward to seeing what this author has in store for us next!


  1. Oh, yeah, the cover is very misleading!!
    I thought it was something about race cars or something, but the story founds pretty interesting, like I AM LEGEND i some ways. :D

  2. Nice review. never heard of this one but i like the plot. for real though, what's up with the cover.


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