In Greek mythology, Zeus locked all the evils of the world within a single jar and made a woman named Pandora its guardian. Should Pandora ever open the jar, all the corruption contained within would spill across the face of the earth and forever plague humanity. In White Horse, a woman named Zoe faces a similar dilemma when a mysterious sealed jar appears in her apartment. This alien canister terrifies and intrigues her, so much so that she seeks out a therapist in an attempt to master her obsession. Unfortunately for Zoe, the malevolence imprisoned within her jar is so virulent and deadly that it will not be contained. When it escapes, the terror it unleashes knows no bounds and will not stop until humankind, like the ancient gods, is nothing more than a relic of the past.

White Horse may be Alex Adams’ first published novel, but it is written with such skill and confidence that it sits easily in the pantheon of post-apocalyptic thrillers alongside the likes of Justin Cronin and Stephen King. Like those of her predecessors, the world Adams paints is grim and harrowing and not for the faint of heart: To survive requires equal measures of grit and luck, and readers who hope to accompany Zoe on her journey for salvation will need an iron will to make it through these pages. Thankfully, the company is good: Zoe is a charming heroine whom readers will root for each step of the way as she fights for not just her own survival, but that of her unborn child.

Like the best dystopian literature, White Horse is not solely about desolation but also prompts serious thoughts on the difference between living and surviving. Even when the world she once knew appears to exist only in her memories, Zoe still has the ability to choose freely and never loses hope—as long as those things remain, so does her humanity. The first installment in a bold new trilogy, White Horse is the perfect start to a series that promises to both terrify and thrill.

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