Concept: Alex, with a non-treatable brain tumor, treks to the wilderness to spread her parents’ ashes while she still can. There is an electromagnet pulse which zaps all electronics, kills middle-aged people, and changes young adults into cannibals. It also appears the pulse gives Alex a second chance on life even though it’s a shitty one of constantly fighting to stay alive and remaining in one piece.
The Peeps: Alex’s strength is set up immediately with her decision to end chemo treatment on her own terms and deal with her mortality. It’s solidified with her survival instincts after “the pulse.” Her makeshift family of a twenty year old soldier, Tom, and eight year old Elly make her less survival machine and more human. I’m not sure if teens relate to the same thing I did, but what makes the stakes so high (and the novel scary) isn’t the gore or the mutilation, it’s that damn eight year old. Her fear, sadness, and confusion are the constant reminder of what innocence is lost and what’s really at stake with having Hell on Earth. It was her survival which had me devouring the pages. (Of course, there was going to be a pun.)
The Ending (spoiler alert!): The biggest spoiler is…there is no ending. I have to admit I really enjoyed this book, but was disappointed with no resolution on the last page. Elly and Tom are missing, Alex is escaping some weird “utopia” (sarcasm there) of a society, and nothing really resolves. Unlike books before, I knew this was a trilogy before I started. I knew it wasn’t going to be roses and recovery at the end, but I did think some things would have a conclusion. Maybe she would connect back up with Tom? Or with Elly? Or with both and then set out to right the world. I assumed the pressing fear of protecting the only family she has would resolve in this book before taking on society. Because of that, I was a little disappointed in the ending. (I purposely waited to read other reviews because I didn’t want to be swayed in mine. After this, I have to go find out if others felt the same way.)
What I Cooked Up: This is a new addition to my book reviews. It’s an edible creation inspired by the book. Since I LOVED the cover so much, I decided that would be the part to inspire the cookie. What do you think?
(Did you really think I was going to make the organ cookie pop?)