Nearly a year ago, everyone over the age of sixteen caught a terrible disease that either killed them or began rotting their bodies, turning them into mindless cannibals, wanting nothing more than to eat the children they once knew and loved. Arran and Maxie have been trying to keep a group of kids alive in the shelter of an old shopping center, but supplies in the nearby buildings are running out, and the bloodthirsty Grown-Ups are getting more and more daring, snatching a kid nearly once a week. When a stranger shows up at their gates claiming to be from a safe haven, filled with food and medicine, the group decides that it is time to move on. But when what should have been a few hour trek to the fabled safe Buckingham Palace is stopped by an army of grown-ups, the kids realize things are worse than they ever thought...
Any more, because of games like Call of Duty, killing zombies has been the hot topic, but mainly for gamers. When I saw this book, it looked like I would get some of the action form these games along with actual plot line and character development, and I wasn't disappointed. All of the main characters in the book are very well thought out; none are created as the "perfect character", everyone has enough faults for skills. Also, there was a good balance of action and discussion. Even durring some of the action, thoughts from characters like Maxie who have a more peace-desiring perspective keep it from being all blood-and-gore battles. The book was also very realistic in that main characters die. It sucks, especially because it starts happening quickly, but in life the good guys don't always live. I do wish that there was a little more time to get attached to the characters before they died, but because of the pace of the story, I think that the author did the best that they could. The interactions between characters and the way that the reader sees the different characters' viewpoints of each other does help make up for the lack of time to develop, because you can get an all-around picture of the character. I'm glad that even though you find out that Arran and Maxie liked each other that it didn't really change the way they acted, because in that kind of situation a relationship would be impractical, but I am also hopeful that Blue and Maxie will become more than friends. I just don't want it to turn into another Empty. The final thing that I really liked about the story is that there were many references to current TV shows, games, music, and other items of pop culture. At least for now, it makes the story seem more tangible to the reader. Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It was very well balanced, and I hope to be able to get my hands on the companion novel, The Dead, very soon!
Questions for Thought:
1. Had the sickness just taken hold and all of the grownups began going crazy, where would you go? Would you try to meet up with friends? Would you hole up in a house, a store, or hit the road and escape to the rural areas?
2. What do you think your most valuable skill would be if something like this happened?
3. Would you vote to head to the country, head to Buckingham Palace, or stay at the Waitrose? Why?
4. Do you think that the museum will be any better than Buckingham Palace?
5. Based on what happened to Nick, do you think that the kids will eventually get the disease once they get old enough?
Please leave your comments and answers!
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