Cassy has joined with Frank and his group, and the group members declare themselves a clan, pitting themselves as a group against the rising tide of darkness around them. Then the death of one of their own creates new tensions that may tear the clan apart before it ever reaches the promised oasis of Cassy's homestead farm.
Worse, they are followed by a man bent on their destruction, who would take her farm for his own group if he can find it. As the clan continues its trek, invaders solidify their iron grip over the Eastern Seaboard, opposed by a resistance aided by a mysterious group known only as "the 20s", whose identities and ultimate goals remain unknown. Events begin to unfold that will determine the future of Cassy and her new family, and possibly the future of America.
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Not a solid follow-up
Get rid of the focus on who wants to sleep with who. It got to be where it distracted from the story SO much that I nearly couldn't finish it. I get that this can be a realistic issue in certain circumstances and it surely could have fit into the story if only it was more subtle. The intense focus on it was redundant and unnecessary to progress the story.
Also, get rid of the mother. Period. Kill her off. Her constant "the Lord this" and "the Lord that" responses to EVERYTHING Cassie said got to be so abrasive that I think I would have outwardly cheered her death. I don't mind the inclusion of religious tone in novels, especially those where it matches the tone of the overall book or is in context of character, but real people don't talk like this all the time without driving everyone to either move away or drink themselves to death. It was constant, I'm getting irritated just writing about it!
After book one the answer would have been a resounding "yes". After book two? Err...not so sure. I do wonder who wrote which parts though, I like to believe that one of the authors wrote all the annoying parts and the good parts were written by the other. This way I could find out which one I liked and try something else by them. Or maybe there could be enough of a reader outcry that the former would be dropped from future releases!
One look at my review list and it's easy to tell that I'm a Kevin Pierce fanboy. This was not his best work in my opinion but it was still a solid job. He seemed to struggle with the North Korean character dialog a bit, not that I'm complaining. This was really the only area that could have been better. Still a 4+ star narration for sure.
Warning, SLIGHT spoilers or "hints" in the below...
I was really looking forward to listening to this book after enjoying book one as much as I did but I was left wanting. I wanted to hear more about getting to Cassie's farm and the progression of preparing it, running it, and guarding it - basically the daily grind of rebuilding and trying to live. There was some of this but not much. I imagine there will be much more in book 3 but I may never find out.
There were many inconsistencies, especially with timing and progression. For example, the idea that people would already be resorting to cannibalism after only ten days I thought was a little much. Or journeys taking two harrowing and violent days by foot being shot at without reason by anyone and everyone somehow taking hour after uneventful hour to return by car on main roads. There was also the character Peter "the bi-polar" (I made that up...) from the White Stag community who was completely unbelievable and seemed to bounce in and out of several personalities due to the way he was written. And of course how sometimes the community itself was "shoot first and ask no questions" while other times it was "halt and state your business"; it made no sense.
There were the irritations of the religious zealot mother and the non-stop love triangle soap opera drama. The constant referral to any reference to people from the Middle East as "rag heads". Even the premise that a country as small and isolated as North Korea could somehow launch a successful ground offensive against the entire Eastern United Sates 3/4 of the globe away with little to no successful US military presence was ludicrous (in my opinion) but I was still willing to forgo any logic there if only the rest of the story would have held up!
On a more positive note, without those annoyances the underlying story of Cassie is a good one. She is a well developed character, smart, and likable. This saved the story from a 2 star.
The clan makes the long trip home...
- Brian "Brian's Book Blog"