Review: Chasers by James Phelan

Four teenagers. One destroyed city. Thousand of infected predators.
Jesse is on a UN Youth Ambassadors camp in New York when his subway carriage is rocked by an explosion. Jesse and his three friends, Dave, Anna and Mini, crawl out from the wreckage to discover a city in chaos. Streets are deserted. Buildings are in ruins. Worse, the only other survivors seem to be infected with a virus that turns them into horrifying predators…

I have just finished reading Chasers by James Phelan (Alone #1) after starting it yesterday and it is my new favourite. It’s one of those books where I want to go tell everyone about it straight after I have read it and persuade everyone to read it. I’m so happy I read this book (I was meant to be reading Hunger by Michael Grant and then the book for my book club, but felt like reading something a little smaller over the weekend). I now have to hunt down all the other novels this author has written and read them all.

At first it was a bit disappointing because this author is Australian and the book is set in Manhattan, but at the same time it was quite refreshing. Yes it is set in America, but it has a definite Aussie edge to it, and it is relatable regardless of where it is set and who has written it.

I also see the attraction of the story being set in Manhattan. It really is a suitable place for a story like this because they’re so cut off. In Australia you can be cut off, but it’s a different isolation so I really do think the setting suited the story quite well.

Another thing was that there’s a prologue where speech marks are used and then after that for the rest of the story there aren’t any at all. I thought that was very interesting and it didn’t bother me at all. It suited the story and eventually it made sense so I wasn’t left questioning it all the time. I was at first, but luckily the story is so engrossing that eventually you don’t even notice it.

I think the characters are well written and diverse, not like some novels where the writer tries to diversify, but they all end up melding. They all react differently to their plight, they all have their own personalities which show, and there’s also a sense of humour there as well when it’s appropriate.

What I think I really love about this book though is the main character and the ending. I love a book that sucks you in and makes you question what is going on even if it’s a small amount only to have you go ‘wow’ or ‘no way’ like I did. I really did not see that ending coming which makes  me respect the writer’s talent far more then when I was reading the story as a whole. I can really appreciate the characters and what he did, but of course I’m not giving away spoilers so if you want to know what I’m on about I highly recommend reading it.

The only regret I have with reading this novel now is the next one isn’t out till next year. How fortunate that I have so much to read in the meantime.

  • Demographic: Young adult, but definitely suitable for an older audience.
  • Genre: Supernatural, Suspense, Post-Apocalyptic
  • Reminds Me Of: A cross between 28 Days Later, Cloverfield, and I Am Legend.
  • Rating Out of Five: 5
  • Challenges: Aussie Author Challenge, RIP V Challenge

10 thoughts on “Review: Chasers by James Phelan

  1. […] Chasers by James Phelan- Chasers is the first book in the Alone series by Phelan. I was recommended this book by Bonnie and at first was a little reluctant because I don’t often read teenage dystopian fiction. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. This is the sort of book you cannot put down and having been to New York myself several years ago, I could picture Jesse running through Central Park. It’s nice to read a teenage fiction novel set in New York, written by an Australian author from the perspective of an Australian teenager. I feel like there were limited stereotypes of the typical Australian (which drive me crazy) and it is a fresh voice for teenagers to experience, especially those living overseas. Rate this: Sharing is CaringTwitterFacebookStumbleUponMorePrintEmailRedditLinkedInDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed under Memes and tagged Alone Series, Australian, Chasers, Dystopian, James Phelan, New York, Teenage fiction, Through The Lens | Leave a comment […]


  2. Sounds great with all the zombie books out there, you do need something that will make you think with some depth.

    Cheers for the links to the dystopian and steam punk challenges too.

    I agree with Dutchie… (hoping that’s not you) other than US authors tend to have a different take or twist, which I tend to enjoy. Oh yes and translations… love translations.


    • Yes and it’s a nice change from all those soppy vampire novels out everywhere at the moment. It’s more of a cross between vampires and zombies, it’s quite interesting because you don’t learn what it is at all.

      You’re welcome 🙂 I hope you like the challenges. The ones listed on that blog are the first ones I’ve ever hosted so it’s a learning process still.

      Yeah this is my blog and I just realised it doesn’t have the author of the posts either. Hmm.. I’m with you on translations and world fiction. When you get so used to one culture or your own in writing it’s really refreshing to read something from a different culture. Makes you really appreciate how many original ideas are out there or at least interpretations of something already done.

      Thanks for stopping by Shellie!


  3. I wonder if that’s because it’s by an Aussie author that isn’t well known? Sometimes they’re the best ones though when you haven’t heard of them. Like little hidden gems and I really do recommend this one. If I was the type of person to re-read a book straight away I would have re-read this one.

    What was the other book out of curiosity?


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