Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.
After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.
Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.
The virus sneaked up on the human population like a predator stalking its prey. Despite the sudden onset on the lethal virus, the US government was prepared to shelter some of the population. Naturally the best and brightest in their fields would be given top priority in the PODs while only 50,000 of the remaining population could be saved. Eva was fortunate. As an only child she only lost her parents & her friends when she reported to the POD that she would call home for the 12 months the scientists believed it would take for the virus to die out.
Being cooped up in a small living space for such an extended period of time has an effect on her. She develops friendships, excels at her pre-determined course of study, & despite being dead-set against it, manages to fall in love with David. After 15 months, the two are separated into different survivor camps. When everything else has been ripped away, just how far are these two willing to go to ensure that they can continue to nurture their romance?
This was a decent zombie-esque book. I've read several great ones in recent months (As the World Dies series, Newsflesh series, & the Razorland series) so the bar is set pretty high. What I liked so much about this one was that the focus wasn't on the virus or really even on the zombies. This was truly about the main couple's experience as the government takes control and plays God with its citizens. This shifted focus allows the reader to really imagine the experiences that the characters are facing throughout the book.
While I wasn't all that impressed with the character development (they were very stereotypical of the hero & heroine in any given story) I was impressed with the interactions between characters. It's kind of hard to make the idea of 9 people & an infant being enclosed in a small space for 12 months appealing. Yet things kept moving forward. Michelle K. Pickett spent just the right amount of time on every scene. Nothing was too dragged out & nothing felt too rapid. The pace of the book was well timed so that the reader had time to mentally catch up with everything that has taken place in what appears to be such a short window of time.
Something I wasn't expecting going in to this book was the amount of steamy romance scenes. David & Eva are quite hot & bothered for one another and make no attempts at hiding their desire. Lots of making out & heavy petting are detailed with vague words of implied naughtiness without every crossing the finish line. It's actually quite astonishing when you think about the fact that this whole book probably takes place over the course of almost two years and yet our dynamic duo never manages to seal the deal. I'm not quite sure whether to be impressed or confounded by that fact.
What I will say is that it's a pretty good book all things considered. Some of the grammatical flaws & minor plot holes I'm sure will be picked up in the final revision stage. I'm most excited about the fact that the sequel has already been contracted for a November 2014 release, but don't let that scare you off. I would be just as content if the book ended right where it did because you get the sense of completion. It doesn't need to continue, but I'm intrigued to see where it goes from where it left off.
Have you heard about this one? What are some of your favorite zombie-esque books?
ARC generously provided by Around the World ARC Tours