What We Harvest / Ann Fraistat / Book Review


Hollow's End is a picture-perfect American town with a twist: all of these family farms produce miracle crops. From rolling fields of iridescent wheat to veiny ghost melons and russet red livestock, visitors and locals alike flock to the annual harvest festival for these miraculous products--products that imbue those who consume them with health, strength, and wellness (or so the brochures claim). But this year, the harvest festival has nothing to show.

When the quicksilver blight first arrived, it went for the crops. One by one, the farms were infected, losing fields inch by inch to creeping mercury-like infection. The animals were next, infected beasts both wild and domestic staggering into the woods only to return at night, white-eyed and ravenous. And then the blight went for the neighbors.

Wren is among the last standing in Hollow's End, but the blight has come for her farm at last. And with no one else to defend against the encroaching blight--and the encroaching horde--she calls her ex Derek for help. They'll make their last stand together, for better or worse.



I don't know what I was expecting here, but I was surprised almost immediately--in a good way! This book is wild from the very beginning but not in an outlandish way. It all makes perfect (and horrifying) sense, just as any good horror story should.


Brand New Zombie Apocalypse There was a brief splash of time after we were overwhelmed with vampires where zombies dominated the market. Zombies were everything--and they were quickly boring. There's only so much you can do with armies of the lumbering undead. This book, however, makes zombies fresh and new. An exciting mix of elements comes into play here, from magical crops to a potentially alchemical backstory. The creeping blight that affects not just crops but also the townspeople adds a new creep factor to the slow-rotting, nocturnal, and grotesque zombies featured here.

Puppy Love Who doesn't love a story where the sweet puppy doesn't have a devastatingly graphic end? Teddy might be a zombie dog, but she is loved and loveable. It's great to see the dog-person bond so clearly displayed here, and anyone would be lucky to have a sweet dog like Teddy wagging alongside them.

Whimsical Americana This book truly embraces its Americana vibe and adds fun notes of whimsy to that aesthetic. Ann Fraistat does a great job of fore-fronting small-town America, with a cast of likeable townies and farmers' kids. The small legacy farms mixed with some alchemical weirdness adds to the charm of Hollow's End.


I can get kind of nitpicky about romance, and that's definitely the case here. I will say, however, that I didn't mind this couple. I didn't mind their fated-to-be-together, kids-next-door, small-town romance. I thought it was cute, and that's saying something. I'm not usually a fan. Even though I did enjoy this romance, there were times when the plot itself got a bit mired down by the relationship at hand. I just wish the romance had always stayed a part of the characters and their development instead of butting into the actual plot and obscuring the end goal. Romance Heavy

I mean, it's a zombie book, so of course you'd expect some gore. This book really does go there, though, and it's not just fantasy gore. The main character herself experiences some brutally bloody situations. Teeth get ripped out. Skin tears. Blood splatters the pages. I didn't mind it, but I do think that others should be warned. Gore

I liked the idea of alchemy being behind the whimsical Americana of this setting. Obviously, I liked the idea. I mentioned it in the pros. I really did enjoy the idea of blood and sacrifice--of some secret and horrible history--being behind the beauty of today as well. But this book took a sharp turn into highly-supernatural territory, and that diminished my enjoyment. That sort of sudden turn is a classic horror-story move, of course, along with towing the line of the natural and the supernatural. Here, the turn was just a bit too quick. Alchemical Whimsy



Fans of the high-price old-style Americana of Rory Power's Burn Our Bodies Down will appreciate the brutal sacrifice of this new small town. Those looking for a fresh take on zombies like the one found in Em Gardner's Contaminated will appreciate these nocturnal, rotting foes.


Publisher: Delacorte
Date: March 22, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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