I used the lure of this book to drag my bootie to the gym and the reclining bike after the non-stop excitement of book one, Devoured. It certainly worked in terms of heart rate elevation and distraction. However, in terms of brain-stimulation, I was a little disappointed it focused more on the human threat from fascists militia-types. It’s pretty freaking obvious that people are the real threat (just listen to the news!), so for me, this wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped.
As our troupe of merry misfits seeks to provide for themselves, they debate whether or not they should head to a safe camp. I felt some of the dialogue and action was overdone from the more personal balance of the first book. You like that banter from book one? We have mohr! You want militants? We have even mohr! You want blood-sucking monsters? We’ve got mohr, mohr, mohr! It worked out, I suppose, especially when balanced by a peaceful interlude, but still, I am generally annoyed by the amped-up phenomenon. Yeah, I know I’m reading a monster book. Shuddup.
Speaking of, we have monsters, which is absolutely fine and scary, but then we also have srsly Too Stupid To Live Moments. The heroes are self-referential enough to acknowledge the “don’t go into the basement by yourself” phenomenon, but then split up to search an armed encampment. They refuse help from someone more prepared then they are, which will clearly lead to them ending up in a disastrous situation. Later, they take someone new to them, high, stupid and literally unaware of the apocalypse into a monster lair. Of course that provides the match strike for the metaphorical firestorm. Of course. Because why write it as if our heroes had any sense and normal bad luck provides the trigger? Then there’s the personality overhaul of the doctor, who goes from dedicated, disbelieving, cringing helper to Massive Spoiler. I’m all in favor of spontaneous personality overhauls–I wish a certain President would undergo one–but I kind of like to have reasons, you know? I know–monster book. Shuddup.
On a personal note, I think I dislocated my eye when –mild spoiler– a certain character ended up pregnant after a huge deal was made about Lance’s infertility in book one. Serious eyerolling. I don’t even know why we went there, because the reasons for striking back at the monsters were always in the making, and foreshadowed frequently. So why? Why must you torture me with these Lifetime drama moments in a monster book??
It did have a fast-n-furious pace, with a steady and predictable variety of conflicts. In short, it was basically a good, solid Walking Dead episode where we discover people are the real assholes (of course).