Book Review: The X-Variant (The Guardians #1) by Rosemary Cole

Time travelling girl battles zombie apocalypse

XVariantAbout the Book

In 2079, a devastating synthetic virus is unleashed that destroys most of humanity. Over the following centuries, however, the virus evolves into a beneficial symbiont that enhances and interconnects its human hosts, and a new post-human race is born: the Unathi. But in 2616, their peaceful utopia is violently disrupted when the symbiont begins to mutate into something terrible. Kala is one of those called upon to travel back in time to 2079 to change the course of the future. In a desperate attempt to save the future of humanity, Kala will face many hardships and perhaps even meet her own end, but she never dreams that it will one day turn her against even the ones she loves the most. If she fails, it will be the end of all humanity forever. If she succeeds, it will be the end of her.

Book Facts

  • Format: ebook
  • No. of pages: 214
  • Publication date: 7th April 2017
  • Genre: Science Fiction

To purchase The X-Variant from Amazon.co.uk click here (link provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme)


My Review (4 out of 5)

The book is set in two separate timelines: one in the near future and one in the distant future. I liked the way the book opened with two alternative versions of a scene in the near future, acting as a teaser for the rest of the book as you obviously want to read on to find out which scene was relevant. The story then moves to the far future where we are introduced to Kala and the rest of the plot is set up. I found the world building was detailed in some respects – technology, transport, and so on – but less so in others. I would have liked to understand more about the structure of Unathi society, the nature of their relationships with their ‘bondmates’, parenting, and so on.

Conversely, I found the scenes set in the near future very convincingly realised. For me, the story really picked up in the final third of the book as Kala and her companions strike out on their own in the post-apocalyptic world, dodging humans infected by the virus who have been transformed grotesquely. The final chapter perfectly (and tantalisingly) sets up the story for the next book. For lovers of science fiction, especially dystopian fiction, this would be an entertaining read.

I received an advance reader copy courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours and the author in return for an honest review.

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In three words: Entertaining, intriguing, dystopian

Try something similar…Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel


RosemaryColeAbout the Author

Rosemary Cole was born in a small New England town. She has loved science fiction and fantasy since she was old enough to go to the library and take out a tall stack of books from the children’s section. Since then she’s been in many places around the world and done many things, but still loves working and playing with words. Her other interests are good food, good people, and the outdoors, separately or together, and she spends whatever time she can indulging her strange obsession with post-apocalyptic themes. Her first book, The X-Variant, a sci-fi novel about a time-travelling girl and a zombie apocalypse, was published on 7th April 2017.

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