But this infection goes far beyond disease. Beyond even the nightmare images of walking dead or flesh-eating ghouls. The infected are turning into creatures unlike anything ever dreamed of . . . more complex, more mysterious, and more deadly.
Trapped in the northwestern United States as winter begins to fall, Terry and Kendra have only one choice: they and their friends must cross a thousand miles of no-man’s-land in a rickety school bus, battling ravenous hordes, human raiders, and their own fears.
In the midst of apocalypse, they find something no one could have anticipated . . . love.
About the Authors
Steven Barnes is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, including the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: The Cestus Deception. He lives in Smyrna, Georgia.
Kendra is a normal teen, with two loving parents and then her world falls apart. Both of her parents are bitten by plague ravaged freaks and her grandfather rescues her and takes her off to his secluded cabin outside in Washington state. When her grandfather is also attacked by a neighbor, she meets up with some camp counselors who are also on the run from the freaks. Two twins, one extremely brilliant misfit nicknamed Piranha, Terry and another girl close to her age named Sonia. As they wind their way through what was once a normal world, they end up in a military base where they are joined by Ursalina. Each of these individual help make up a new family in order to survive the post apocalyptic world after the infection has brought the world down.
The freaks are not ordinary zombies that you have read about before. They are not stupid and are fast at first, only slowing down as they infection takes a stronger hold on them. The only way they can be killed is by removing their head, either through a bullet or decapitation. As the story unfolds you get to find out the back story of most of the characters, especially Terry and Piranha. Ursalina, is slowly introduced towards the end. I found myself racing through this story to see if they would survive each Freak attack and then to make their way slowly in an old school bus to a place rumored to be Freak free called Devil’s Wake, an island off the coast of California. Kendra and Terry do seem to have a connection but it is somewhat at that awkward stage. The real romance is between Piranha and Sonia and even that is kept under wraps.
Each character must face the horror of their past to make way in this new world without civilization and now ruled by pirates or vigilantes who will take first, possibly kill and then maybe help you out. It is very fast paced and wonderfully written horror. Fans of The Forest of Hands and Teeth will find this world much less organized. I know this is an adult book but with most of the characters teens or young adults, it will probably be a great crossover for zombie fans looking for more adult fare. I think this is probably more tame than a lot of dystopian young adult books I have read. There is no graphic violence, only some minor kissing, and only a few mentions of alcohol. If you are looking for something to get your blood moving this is a nice start to a series since it seemed to end with a bit of a cliffhanger and I really want to know what happens to the group.