The apocalypse comes in the form of strawberry-scented, carnivorous jam. I don’t care what anyone says, this is a genius premise for a novel.
Travis wakes up one day and ends up watching his flatmate Frank get devoured by red jam. Going back to his apartment upstairs, he can see that jam has flooded the city as far as the eye can see. A rag-tag group of survivors join together, as they try to navigate the jam in search of different objectives – a place to survive, a hard drive from work, the truth about the jam, etc.
The idea for this book is SO genius. Apocalyptic fiction has gotten crazily popular these days, so much so that it all starts to sound the same. When I spotted this book in the bookstore and read the description, I was super excited to find something unique. The obstacles and problems that come with man-eating jam are so much more different from the zombie scenario we’ve all become so used to imagining. It’s basically a game of “The Floor is Lava” except you really will die if you touch it.
Sadly, Jam could have been better. Travis, the main character, is kind of a whiny beta male who becomes weirdly attached to a giant tarantula and basically every person he comes in contact with. The other characters are kind of one-dimensional – they each have a specific personality trait and that’s it. “Hey I’m the guy that’s going to be angry all the time.” “Hey I’m the girl that’s going to swear this is all a conspiracy.” and so on. Also, there’s one really weird and confusing section of the book about hipsters who form some sort of ironic cult, and that part of the book kind of dragged. It was also confusing as to why all the people went crazy SO fast, even though the whole book only spans about 9 days.
I still read this book really quickly (75% of it in just a day), because I wanted to know about the jam – how it came about, and whatnot. By the time it was all revealed in the last 40 pages or so, it seemed a bit anti-climactic. I enjoyed this book for the interesting idea, and for the dark, wry humor but overall it wasn’t the best*. Great premise, but not greatly executed.
Sarah Says: 2.5 stars
* Even though this book was a bit disappointing, Yahtzee Croshaw has another book called Mogworld out that I really want to try.