In this much-anticipated sequel, star-crossed lovers R and Julie must confront a world filled with the undead and the far more terrifying force that animates them.
Being alive is hard. Being human is harder. But since his recent recovery from death, R is making progress. He's learning how to read, how to speak, maybe even how to love, and the city's undead population is showing signs of life. R can almost imagine a future with Julie, this girl who restarted his heart - building a new world from the ashes of the old one.
And then helicopters appear on the horizon. Someone is coming to restore order. To silence all this noise. To return things to the way they were, the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak. The plague is ancient and ambitious, and the Dead were never its only weapon.
How do you fight an enemy that's in everyone? Can the world ever really change? With their home overrun by madmen, R, Julie, and their ragged group of refugees plunge into the otherworldly wastelands of America in search of answers. But there are some answers R doesn't want to find. A past life, an old shadow, crawling up from the basement.
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New Narrator Breathes New Life
The story expands upon the best things about its predecessors - the characters are deep, introspective, and feel like more than "survivors." The expansion beyond the airport and the dome into the greater world make the story vast, with luscious descriptions that deepen as the story progresses.
This book is more comparable to it direct predecessor, Warm Bodies. While R is not so much the struggling, angsty protagonist of the second (nee first) book in the series, Marion does a fantastic job of allowing R to develop beyond the zombie savant of Warm Bodies, and into a fully realized and confident protagonist worthy of being the reluctant hero.
The narrator's storytelling skills do a fantastic job of making the tale immersive in a way that reading words on a page may not. While the writing itself is both technical and lush, Roy's telling of the tale lends considerably weight for those who get bogged down by good writing that affords no coddling for light readers.
There are several, but, "Spoilers."
While Roy's narration is very well executed and enveloping, my one criticism is that the main characters are voiced in a largely similar manner. The accents and vocal inflections used by Kenerly in Warm Bodies is sorely missed. That said, he does an excellent job, overall.
- Susan M. Israels