Life for Kansas was perfect until the day the world changed.
She has been hiding out for four years in solitude. It's the only way to survive. The only way not to draw the living dead. Helping a small group of people, she learns the new world might not be what she assumes. Venturing out of her refuge and comfort zone, she meets Rudy, who helps her find a greater purpose. She realizes that the world has moved on without her. Only it's not what she expects. Her knowledge of the living dead grows and only makes her more curious as humanity continues to hang on by a thread. While on her search for answers she finds comfort in new friendships and love, but her past seems as if it will haunt her forever.
Kansas takes it upon herself to help other survivors, which would be easy if the famished were the only obstacles.
In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, this adult dark fantasy is emotional as much as it is horrifyingly gripping.
*Not intended for a young audience. Mature content.*
A world full of zombies would be difficult to live in. A world full of crazy people in a world full of zombies is even harder. There's no government, no real law, nothing to keep people from revealing their true selves ~ in both good and bad ways. You've got your religious cults that kidnap women, your monarchist-style mad scientists that think they can destroy and run the world, and then you have Kansas and the rat pack.
Kansas City Sunshine Moore is a complete badass. She's my new favorite heroine. Her strength and resilience in a world gone to crap never ceases to astound me throughout this book. She survives losing everyone she's ever loved, cooking her own food, slashing zombies, and creating a safe haven for herself. She's afraid, but she doesn't let her fear control her ~ nor does she allow solitude to drive her mad. Even when she loses everything all over again, she keeps her head high and focuses on her next move. What I love most about her, though, is that deep down, she still holds on to her heart even as its ripped in two time and time again.
Of course, that would have absolutely nothing to do with Rudy, a goliath of a gorgeous man who's kindness and brute strength saves her life time and time again. Or, for that matter, Mac ~ who I don't trust by the way ~ a curly-headed, supposedly decent guy with a fetish for white t-shirts. Kansas finds herself confused and torn between them in a not-so-classic love triangle. And that's just the small stuff. Kansas has a lot more to worry about than who she'd like to give her heart to. Her youth and "fertility" make her a high-demand target, and she runs, kicks, curses, and slashes through hell to survive.
Kansas is lucky, in a way, even through all the atrocious sights she's seen and violations she's experienced. She has her group of scheming boys and she has her gal pal Glinda. Kansas may find herself in a community where the dead are treated as works of art (freakish, I know), but she's free to make her own choices and build a life for herself. Not many people in this new famished-infested world ever get a chance to do that, much less dream about it.
What I really loved about this book was that there was no holding back. Annie Walls doesn't hide the gore or the appalling actions humans take when a world is stripped of reputation and law. Everything the people do or experience is something I could imagine truly happening if humanity as we know it came to an end. People would have no qualms about taking what they want, forcing their beliefs on someone else, or breeding people like cattle. It's crazy, brutal, and completely horrific ~ but it's believable, and that's what makes it so damn good.
Would highly recommend to those who:
- Don't have a weak stomach
- Have zombie love
- Admire a kick-ass heroine
Can't wait for the second book to be released, Controlling the Dead! Super excited about this series :)
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Happy Reading Everyone :)
~ Keely ~