Rating 3.5 out of 5
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 22, 2011)
Annah has been living and surviving on her own sing Elias left her three years ago. When she finally decides to do something and move on with her life she meets Catcher, her sisters traveling companion and former boyfriend, and discovers her long lost twin sister is alive and well but now in the Recruiters hands.
The third book in the series seems to be the darkest and bleakest of all. While Annah herself and her story is pretty bleak set in the ruins of the city (that was supposed to be safe), the Zombie horde hitting the city, the cruelty of the Recruiters, death being at every turn and a certain last stand feel to the story.
The previous two books always had hope attached to it. For Mary there was the place the girl from the woods had come from, for Gabry there was the City. The girls all had somewhere else to go, somewhere safer. In this book there is no where to go. As I said previously this book is really dark with no hope to balance the horror the character witness and participate in.
I really can not decide if I liked this book or not. I found the book to be a a bit too dark and depressing for my liking, plus there were somethings (mostly story threads) about the book and series as a whole, that irked me. Having said that I kept turning the pages wanting to know what happened next, if the group would survive, and what would be the fate of the city.
I didn't really like Annah. There I said it. She just didn't gel well with me. Her personality for me didn't fit someone who had been surviving in extreme conditions for a few years on her own. She just seemed so wimpy, defenceless and clueless. For someone who had led her life I would expect her to be really tough physically or mentally (possibly both), or a hermit who never went out side. Instead she was this wishy washy character who was annoying in most instances. The only time I felt I saw the person I felt she should have been was towards the end after her night in the snow storm which is about half way through the book.
It really bugged me again that we have no idea of what caused the zombie invasion or even why there was a rebellion. This time the characters were in a place where they could get answers yet seemed unwilling to dig deeper and ask why. Which to me would have been important to figuring out how to survive. Also why would know one want to do tests on Catcher's blood? or what research was done in the past? The science nerd in me was very frustrated with this lack of wanting to know more. But maybe this was just me?
I liked Gabry a lot better in this book, as a lead character (and whose point of view the story was told from in book two), she didn't impress me much. But in this book I liked her a lot more. She was more well rounded as a character and less annoying. Elias on the other hand was a bit of arrogant bastard in this book, but I was not turned off his character. I think the revelations about these two characters this book made them far more relatable.
The ending I thought was great for the series as a whole. It was a little on the Walt Disney happy ending side of happy endings but nonetheless I still thought it was a lovely way to finish the series and this book in particular that had been so dark and then right at the end was a small glimmer or more accurately the possibility of hope.
By the end of the book I was happier with the story and the trilogy as a whole. The third book did round the trilogy of quite nicely (despite all my criticisms!), and even though there were elements that bugged me I was still drawn into this world and enjoyed reading about it.
If you have read books one and two you can not decide to stop at book two.