Aries, Clementine, Michael, and Mason have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world’s population and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now they’re hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of fellow teen survivors, trying to figure out their next move. Aries is trying to lead, but it’s hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it’s impossible to know where he’d be, assuming he’s alive. Michael is haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends. As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, these four teens will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive. - Goodreads.com
I was alernately really eager and really wary to read this second book. Eager because the first book blew me away and I couldn't wait to see the story continue, but wary because the first book blew me away and I was afraid book two wouldn't live up to my expectations, as a lot of sequels tend not to do. But this book was excellent and so exciting.
They've made it to Vancouver where a) Clementine can look for her brother Heath at the University, and b) where they've heard there are pockets of normal people living together in large groups they might be able to join. They're living in a house together with a few other people they've picked up and surprisingly, or not surprisingly, depending on how you look at, Aries appears to be the undisputed leader. Let's start with characterization.
In this story, everyone we met in book one stays pretty true to character, but most of the characters have grown and developed in some way. Clementine and Michael, for instance, seem even stronger than they did before. Mason is still one of my favorite characters and in this book he really shines. Most of the conflict arises because of something that happens to him, and his reactions to it really prove what kind of character he has. And Aries... she is badder, bolder and stronger than she was before. I love the journey this character is taking. She's my favorite in the story. She has internal struggles of her own with leadership and feeling weak, but to me, she was anything but. She's exactly what a leader should be.
I had pretty much guessed who the Nothing character was, so I wasn't very surprised there... but that didn't really detract from the story at all for me. The author did a good job planting doubt though by making a lot of the other characters show that they're having to fight off bad thoughts too.
The external conflicts in this story were scary, amazing, and had me on the edge of my seat. This is just an amazing story and I enjoyed reading every single word. I can't wait, again, for the next book to come out.
If you liked this book, read the first: