Zombies stalk the night. Forget blood and brains. These monsters hunger for human souls. Sadly, they’ve got mine…
Alice Bell has lost so much. Family. Friends. A home. She thought she had nothing else to give. She was wrong.
After a new zombie attack, strange things begin to happen to her. Mirrors come to life, and the whispers of the dead assault her ears. But the worst? A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do very wicked things.
She’s never needed her team of zombie slayers more, but ultra bad-boy Cole Holland, the leader and her boyfriend, suddenly withdraws from her…from everyone. Now, with her best friend Kat at her side, Ali must kill the zombies, uncover Cole’s secret and learn to fight the darkness.
But the clock is ticking…and if she fails at a single task, they’re all doomed.
– – – – –
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: new, unique plot twists to keep readers guessing and on the edge of their seats; a seperate story from the wider-arc; no cliff-hanger ending; emotionally charged drama, suspense, and action
Ali Bell has been through a LOT. But if you thought all the drama, action, and emotionally-charged scenes would come to an end in book one, you’re sadly mistaken.
“Ali Bell doesn’t play hide-and-seek,” Lucas said. “She plays hide-and-pray-I-don’t-find-you.”
Mackenzie smiled. “When Ali Bell gives you the finger, she’s telling you how many seconds you have to live.”
Cole chuckled, saying, “Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, and fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, but fear of Ali Bell is just called logic.”
“Oh, oh.” Kat clapped excitedly. “There used to be a street named after Ali Bell, but it was changed because nobody crosses Ali Bell and lives. True story.”
With the same snark, wit, and unique style as the first book in this series, Gena Showalter takes readers one step further into her world of spirit-zombies and slayers in this intense, action-packed read. And I feel the need to say this right up front: if you’re the kind who thrives on cliff-hanger endings, on a story wide-arcing across thewhole of a series and adding pressure to readers to “continue” to know what happens next…these books might not be for you. Because while there IS a wider-arcing story….it falls a bit in the background, taking a backseat instead to each unique and individually crafted event. While each book “ties in” with the next…there is no cliff-hanger ending. There is no REAL pressure to wait around and see what happens next. Each book is it’s own monster, with a beginning and ending that stand apart, on their own. While you still need to read the series in order to fully understand what’s going on, each book presents (and solves) it’s own problems, making this a bit unique in terms of trilogies/series in our modern-day world.
The characters also continue to grow, thrive, and change. Facing their own set of problematic situations, emotions, and baggage, Gena Showalter breathed life into each and every character we meet, molding them into unique and strong-standing pieces to the story. The changes brought about both strengthen and weaken them; they aren’t your average, everyday “plastic hero,” but instead realistic people with faults and flaws.
I felt my hand curl into a fist. Felt my elbow draw back. Felt my arm dart forward, my knuckles crack into Cole’s jaw. I couldn’t stop myself. His head whipped to the side, and blood leaked from a cut in his lip. Behind me, gasps of shock abounded.
“I’m recovered,” I said. “Believe me now?”
Those violet eyes slitted when they found me. “Assault and battery is illegal.”
“So have me arrested.”
He closed what little distance there was between us. Suddenly I could feel his warmth of his breath caressing my skin. “How about I put you over my lap and spank you instead?”
“How about I knee your balls into your throat?”
“If you’re going to play with that particular area, I’d rather you use your hands.”
“My hands aren’t going near that area ever again.”
A pause. Then, “I bet I could change your mind,” he whispered huskily.
“I bet I could bash yours.” I drew back another fist, but he was ready and caught me midswing. His pupils dilated, a sign of arousal. Another sign: he began to pant. He was acting like I’d tried to unbuckle his jeans rather than smack fire out of him.
“Hit me again,” he said, still using the same whispered tone, “and I’ll take it as an invitation.”
The snark and intelligent banter is as STRONG as ever in this book; Cole and Ali reach a sort of…peak…with their relationship, and were more realistic on the page while fighting than most book couples I can think of off the top of my head (well…save for one. Will and Tessa, I’m looking at you) Despite the sometimes loathing that sparked between them, there was still room (as evidenced in the quote above) for witty humor. Gena Showalter is a QUEEN with insults and snark, and I giggled many times while reading.
There were a few…contradictions? Between what Ali knew she should/shouldn’t do and what she ACTUALLY did, but they weren’t big enough for me to really focus on, and besides, we all know Ali is a stubborn, bull-headed girl sometimes. So while the contradictions were there…they also sort of fit in with her personality, and that made them work.
“So…have you ever thought about dyeing your hair punk-rocker-chick black? As I’m sure you’ve heard, I have a thing for brunettes and always avoid blondes.”
“I’ve heard. And no.”
“Too bad. Because you’re making me rethink my stance about doing my friends’ exes.” I snorted, not even trying to hide my…incredulity? Surely I wasn’t amused.
“You’re making me rethink my stance on cold-blooded homicide.”
Overall, I enjoyed this read almost as much as the first one, and can’t wait to jump into the third! I would still recommend to lovers of zombie lore, unique world-building, and snarky, feisty characters. I’d also, however, extend the recommendation to those who loathe a cliff-hanger ending—these reads don’t have them. If you’re into any of the things above, these just might be the books for you!