Sunday, May 25, 2014

It All Happens in the End

Everyone knows the zombie craze has hit big time, and with the success of The Walking Dead, it isn't going anywhere. So how do you make a story with maniacal, people eating creatures new and fresh? If you are Demitria Lunetta, you make them greenish-yellow with creepy fangs... but their origins aren't so different. In the End is the conclusion of Amy's tale in a world where arrogance and experimentation led to a completely new species of people, who are contagious and who want to eat you. 

Amy and Baby survived together in silence, avoiding the Florae wherever possible. They thought New Hope, and the realization that Amy's mother was still alive, would allow them to live in peace finally, but it was clear the crazy scientists in the compound had different ideas. Amy escaped, but she left Baby behind in what she thought was relative safety. Unfortunately, when Kay, a guardian who helped save Amy, contacts her, Kay tells Amy that Baby is now being bled dry for Dr. Reynolds' experiments. Amy can't save her alone, so Kay sends Amy to Fort Black where her brother Ken is working on a cure. She thinks Ken can request to work directly with Baby and get her out of New Hope, but from the moment Amy enters Fort Black, it is clear nothing is going to go as planned. 

Fort Black is basically a lawless prison that is only preferable over becoming Florae food. The guards who are protected by the Warden are fed well and everyone else must use whatever methods possible to feed themselves. Luckily, Amy stumbles across Jacks, the Warden's nephew who, while protected and living a life of leisure thanks to the Warden's influence, is still a pretty good guy. Amy explains why she is looking for Ken, and Jacks agrees to help her, but to protect her, he must also "claim" her. Unclaimed ladies are unprotected ladies, so, despite Amy's protests at being thought of as property, she allows the rumor to spread that she is now Jacks' girl. The problem, though, is no one has ever heard of or seen Ken. Just when Amy starts to think she will never find him or save Baby, she realizes the truth depths of the darkness in Fort Black. And it's ugly. 

The only think I can complain about with this book is that I am pretty sure this is it for the series. I thought there was going to be a trilogy, but the sequel ended with quite a bit of finality. I am sad to see it go, because this was a really great series! The story is fast-paced and exciting, every character is dynamic and interesting, and there really were no complaints I had about anything! Even the new and supporting characters like Brenna and Jacks were fabulous! I hope someone can convince Lunetta to do a book that comes later, because I don't want to be done with Amy and the group!

The story behind the Florae is just downright disturbing. Almost all of it came out in the end of the first book, but you get a really full back story with this sequel. In addition, the series of experiments to find a cure is downright unethical, but in a post-apocalyptic world, where people will eat you, is there room for ethics? I found myself asking that a lot throughout this book. I am currently reading Watchmen with my juniors, and we talk a lot about the ethicality of sacrificing a few to save the money. Still, it is hard to imagine how anyone could dehumanize their subjects enough to inject a child with the Florae virus! I found the moral questions in this story were just as strong as the entertainment factor of this crazy story. And somehow, Lunetta figured out a way to make new, scarier versions of zombies! Holy Florae, Batman!

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