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What did you like best about this story?
constantly being surprised at how the story unfolded
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
there were several moments that moved me, moments of sadness and disgust. there are a few powerful moments, but i can't go into deal b/c i don't want to spoil the listener's experience!
Any additional comments?
wow! i'm shocked at how good this second book was! the first book was just MEH. so why did i download this second book? b/c there was some potential to make the story interesting, but also b/c first book ended with an irresistibly intriguing scene.
the first book had some ups and some downs. in the first book, i didn't really like the main character, danny, and it was hard to bond with her. she has some serious anger issues and is so hard-headed that she often alienates those around her. she is an unlikable hero.
however in the second book, the author does a good job making danny seem more human. yes, she still has some serious anger problems, but the author does a better job flushing them out. in the first book, the author used danny's anger to drive the plot, some of which seemed downright dumb (threatening looters with arrest during a zombie apocylapse) and contrived (leaving the group to look for her sister). in this book, the causes and reasons for danny's anger are realistic and at times, justified, and therefore more believable. i found it refreshing to listen to a zombie story where there was a lot of anger.
in a couple of other zombie stories, where characters have had serious anger issues, those characters did really stupid things, things that really uncharacteristic of their characters and thus wouldn't happen during a zombie outbreak, like shouting and breaking things while supposedly hunkering down in a safe house. i'm thinking of my review of the first 2 the becoming novels in particular.
anyway...back to this review. yes, danny blows her top and makes mistakes. these scenes are realistic and emotional. i found myself thinking "God danny, why did you do that!?" even though danny is brash and unlikable, you start to like her and care for her. this really surprised me after the first book. i really liked how the author explored the complicated relationship b/ween danny and her sister, kelly.
what happens in this second book is also much more interesting than the first book. the first book details the initial outbreak, followed by fleeing and trying to find a safe place to hold out. the main human enemies were a rogue band of private military thugs. been there done that. the pace of the story in the first book is herky jerky. the author does a much better job of pacing the story in this second book. one layer of plot smoothly lays upon another as the mystery and tension build.
i won't spoil anything more revealing than the publisher's summary, but what danny finds in the "safe" place is as intriguing as it is creepy. a few zombie novels i have liked have tried to do something along this line, e.g. beyond the barriers, the reanimation of edward shuett, i zombie, but ben tripp creates something truly unique and horrifying. the author really could of lost control of the story in this part, but he did a good job pulling in the reins, keeping the pace of the story moving without getting lost on a tangent.
what i really liked was how unpredictable the story was. every time i thought this or that was going to happen, i was proven wrong, all the way up to the closing credits.
now, the important question. drum roll...do you need to read the first book? i would say no. this story is pretty self-contained. you can catch up with what's going on in the beginning as the author briefly recounts what happened. but like i said, parts of the first book are painfully slow, especially the beginning- 2 and 1/2 hours before anything really happens.
overall, a great story! there are a lot of twists and turns and some freaky surprises! i definitely recommend this book. the first is your call!
to those who listened to the first book and didn't like it, i definitely suggest you give this book a chance b/c it's so much better. i think a good comparison would be the roads less traveled series. while the first book in that series was kind of MEH, the second book was great. this second book is really good!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Well... I gave 5 stars to book one, and started to give only 4 stars to this one. Then I re-thought my assessment and have to say that this book is nearly as good as book one (caveats follow, and key word is "nearly").
Of course, if you have read book one, you pretty much have to read this one too because, otherwise, you will never know what happened to Danny. (If you did not read book one, don't read this one first, it won't make nearly as much sense.) If you liked book one for its realistic characters and zombie action, you should probably find this one stands on equal ground; it is as good in that sense as the first book was.
So, why is this book not quite as good? Only because there was a bit too much mid-story filler about Danny on a bender which didn't add anything to the story line, and the zombies just brushed on the edge of being too extreme. Yes, I know, they are zombies... but... we expect zombies to fit within certain parameters, and the survivors' responses to them to also fit within these parameters; in this book, however, it just "got a little weird". (hah... got a little weird... in a zombie book... hmmm...)
But, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the shift in the zombie - we'll call them "attributes" - was sort of a logical progression, given how they started. Though I don't think I can accept the late-story acceptance/attitude of "zombies are people too". (I sort of wonder if this theme was meant to have some moral behind it... but since I ignore morals in stories, I'm not sure if that was the intent, or just my interpretation of certain events.)
Anyway, the story is wrapped up in the end - though maybe not the way we would have preferred it to be. The narration is very good. There is a bit of swearing, a bit of zombie "messiness" (aka gore), and no detailed sex. If there was another book in the series, I'd buy it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful