Avery has been sitting by her mother's hospital bed knowing that she is not going to wake up but she has no where else to go. The streets are crawling with the Withered ones and though they do not seem to be the brain eating zombies of the TV shows and books Avery still does not trust them and their eerie shuffling around. Avery has learned that right now the Withered are not to be feared but the gangs who now own the streets and she knows that it is only a matter or time before the hospital is taken as well. She has heard some stranger rumours about what the humans left alive are looking for, blood. Blood of those who are still alive they believe that blood will save them, and Avery is about to see first hand the lengths they will go to get it. Don't fear the Withered, Fear the Humans.
I was first attracted to this book due to the cover as it portrayed this book as a darker read and while that may be true on some instances I never really felt the suspense or thrills that I think this book should have contained. Yes there are some action scenes but they were not overly descriptive and due to the fact that Avery is a calm and collective character (most of the time) we never get a sense of urgency from her. I found the world building really lacking in this book. I'm not really sure how the Withered ones came about, i think it was first a disease and then people tried to fix it but that mutated people into zombies, but not zombies. I'm really not sure how far the mutation went or if that is just rumour, like the humans need to find fresh blood. So i guess you could say I was a bit confused.
I think my favourite part of the book is that Miles decided to focus more on the degradation of humans and what we would do to each other in this situation other than the withered ones aka zombies. I think Humans as a whole can be way more scarier than any zombie can be. I mean a zombie people feel they can just kill, they are already, technically dead, but a human can be more cold calculated and we see glimpse of this cold calculation throughout the book. Personally I wish there was more.
Avery at times is a hard character to like but yet you like her all the same. She is mistrustful of everyone even people who have proved themselves to her time and time again. She just has learned to question everything and everyone around her but I think that this stems from before the world went to hell and not after. Avery's past is still a bit of a mystery as you only get bits and pieces of it throughout the book but it is enough to know she was not happy then. On the flip side of this is that Avery is not whiny character and is able to take care of herself. She may not make the best choices at times but she makes her own based upon the information she has and she is smart as she seems to take everything into perspective that is happening around her.
I really have to applaud Miles for not taking the easy way out and having a happy ending, which lets be honest really shouldn't occur in this type of novel. Miles really does show some major aspects of how we change when faced with survival and some people are just better at it than others when being civilized is really no longer an option.
Even though this was a short read, I still think that Miles could have done a better job with the world building. There is a bit of a lull in the middle of the book, which I don't think was needed as we didn't really receive an additional information about the characters or the world that Miles has built. There is no question that Miles was able to entertain me and keep it that way to the end with her characters and her desire to keep the book real as to what happens to us as humans when the world goes to shit. I look forward to see where Miles decides to take this series (at least I hope there are more books in the works).
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