Call Me Adam

Fiction - Supernatural
340 Pages
Reviewed on 05/22/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Call Me Adam is a work of fiction in the dark fantasy, supernatural, and interpersonal drama genres. It is best suited to mature readers owing to the deep discussion of themes such as self-harm and suicide. Penned by author Jo McCarty, the plot follows Louie, a man in rural Michigan with an extraordinary ability: he cannot die. In a post-Covid world on the brink of another disaster, Louie grapples with immortality while seeking death repeatedly. His existence changes when he meets Katherine, a New Yorker determined to survive. As they navigate the challenges of post-apocalyptic life, facing external threats and their own inner demons, Louie and Katherine's relationship becomes a beacon of hope amidst chaos and despair.

Author Jo McCarty utilizes a keen sense of empathy and psychological thinking to craft a gripping journey into a world teetering on the edge of oblivion, where the power of human survival instincts shines amidst the darkness. McCarty's inventive storytelling and vivid characterization work hand in hand to offer credible ways in which the characters’ attitudes and approach to life have been harshly shaped by the world around them. Louie's presence is interesting and complex right from the start, and his struggle with immortality and his reluctant embrace of life, juxtaposed with Katherine's determination and resilience, create a compelling dynamic that sparks so much poignancy and further conversation. The exploration of love, loss, and redemption in the face of adversity is well-paced and never overdone, maintaining a strong sense of realism and deep emotional resonance from cover to cover. Overall, Call Me Adam is a thought-provoking tale that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to fans of intelligently penned supernatural dramas everywhere.

Grant Leishman

Call Me Adam by Jo McCarty has a fascinating premise that had me hooked from the very first lines. It is a post-COVID world and things are just beginning to return to “normal” when disaster strikes the population. Again, it is a flu-like virus that has taken the population by storm. This flu is more virulent than Covid. In a small Michigan town, Louie is despondent over the death of his mother who was the first in the town to die of Covid-19. When he tries to commit suicide, he discovers a terrifying fact – he cannot die. Each time he tries, he awakens the next day, alive and unhurt. With everyone else in the town dead from the new flu pandemic, he is all alone and just wants to die and join his mother. Katherine, in New York, watches as everyone around her, including her best friend, is dying. Katherine, a strong, determined woman who struggles to come to terms with the loss, is determined to survive. When she and Louie find themselves sharing the same dream, she knows she must make the long journey to Michigan to meet Louie and claim her destiny. There are other survivors though and not all of them are as moral and kindhearted as Katherine and Louie. Their discovery of each other will be fraught with danger and close encounters with evil.

Call Me Adam is a wonderful read. Author Jo McCarty has created two marvelous main characters in Katherine and Louie who, although almost opposites in their lives and viewpoints are inexorably drawn to each other through this tragedy and their shared dreams. Both characters will be instantly recognizable by many readers. Louie, the perennial victim of bullying and ridicule his entire life, is a Mama’s boy so to speak, full of self-doubt and self-loathing whose only desire is to rejoin his mother – something he is incapable of doing. Katherine is a determined career-oriented woman for whom relationships are distractions and children are not on her list of priorities. Both are united by their shared loneliness in a dying world and their constant dreams of each other. I particularly appreciated the clarity and conciseness of the prose. The author’s style is relaxed and laidback which carries the reader comfortably through some quite horrific and jarring arcs and plot lines. This is certainly not a novel that seeks to glorify suicide and the author takes great pains to point this out at the end. First and foremost this is a love story, albeit an unusual one, and the search for happiness and contentment in a world that truly has gone awry. I found Louie’s determination and ability to make something good out of all the horror that surrounded them quite inspiring. For me, both he and Katherine are the superheroes that they wondered about being. This is a fun read despite the awful post-apocalyptic world this pair has to confront and I highly recommend this book.

Gaius Konstantine

"Every new beginning comes from another beginning's end." Jo McCarty's novel Call Me Adam would make Seneca smile, as it is a story of endings and beginnings. Louie is one messed-up individual with a unique talent: he can't die no matter how hard he tries. His life in a small Michigan town is that of a man viewed as a failure, the guy everyone picked on growing up. But when a new, deadlier pandemic sweeps the globe, Louie goes from being the town nothing to being the entire town as everyone else is dead. Katherine is career-focused and independent, a modern woman living in New York. Yet she also is a nothing, and, unlike Louie, doesn't realize it. As the world dies not from the flash of explosions but from a sneeze and a cough, these two miserable excuses for human beings will come together and understand that sometimes it takes the worst of times to bring out the best in us.

Call Me Adam by Jo McCarthy is a dark tale of death, suicide, and survival with a straightforward plot focusing on a handful of survivors after an extinction-level event. However, the beauty of the story is the underlying theme of redemption with a hint of spiritualism. The pace and setting are grim but make for a fascinating read that will make some readers question the concept of good and evil, as intentions often define actions. Top-notch character development drives immersion to excellent levels, and I found myself delighted at how Jo managed to turn these two losers into people I felt genuine empathy for. Call Me Adam is a well-written story and a breath of fresh air for fans of apocalyptic and lightly supernatural tales. It is also a wonderful reminder that life is composed of choices.