But she can’t look back—the life she once had is gone forever.
A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn’s small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. No one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father’s abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they encounter a world beyond recognition. It’s not only the “friendly flu” that’s a killer—there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. How much will Kaelyn risk for an unproven cure, when the search could either destroy those she loves or save the human race?
Megan Crewe’s second volume in the Fallen World trilogy is an action-packed journey that explores the resilience of friendship, the ache of lost love, and Kaelyn’s enduring hope in the face of the sacrifices she must make to stay alive.
This second novel in the Fallen World Series finds Kaelyn and a group of friends braving the world beyond the island, trying to find a cure to the deadly virus. But, as when any entourage braves the snowy wild, they will become easy targets set against the white backdrop of snow. So is the case when Kaelyn, Leo, Gav, Meredith, Tessa, and Tobias stumble into a town looking for gas. It is here that those who still believe there is hope for human kindness find that there is little left in a world ravished by illness, and the race to deliver the cure and survive the wild becomes a true matter of life and death, one they weren’t prepared for in the least.
Kaelyn is a phenomenal, strong character, though lacking common sense in a few areas. I really enjoyed her point of view and reliability in the first novel, The Way We Fall, but in this second novel, I found myself wanting to shake her a bit. With the vaccine in hand, she is basically in charge of her rather large group, six in all, hoping to keep them safe as they trek across Canada looking for someone who can manufacture the cure. Though I understand it, this, in my opinion, is the first unwise decision Kaelyn and her friends make. Their group is much too large to forgo detection. There’s too many to feed, and they’re not all privy to the dangers surrounding them, especially young, childish Meredith. From there, especially as most of the characters are unprepared for the world they’re entering, the entire group continues to make decisions that put them more so in the line of danger than anything else. Their inability to harden their souls is their downfall, but at the same time, it’s sort of their saving grace, as it were, and so I found myself torn on many an occasion as events unfolded.
The story itself is a great concept, but as a middle book, I feel that it falls into the category that middle books sometimes fall into, where it’s a good, sound story, but not too much happens and nothing is resolved. In the grand scheme of things, the characters come across some obstacles, beat the odds, continue their journey, throw smoldering looks at each other, and then come across another obstacle. While reading the story, it wasn’t as obvious to me as I was waiting for the next big thing to happen, but upon completion and retrospect, not too much did happen—which isn’t a bad thing, but more so a middle book thing, I think.
This novel is also written differently than the first. Whereas the first novel in the series is written in the epistolary style, with Kaelyn writing letters and journal entries to Leo, her best friend Tessa’s boyfriend, this novel brings all the characters together, making the journal entries and letters obsolete. While the first chapter of the story does start with Kaelyn journaling, this writing technique is pushed aside as the novel takes form, which I actually liked more than I thought I would. I’m a lover of the epistolary novel, but if all the characters are side-by-side, what’s the purpose of continuing one? Kaelyn writes in her journal, for what I think it probably the last time, and then the story follows her and her friends through Kaelyn’s first person narrative, which I also enjoyed. Overall, this is a good read, and I do recommend it, but remember, it’s a middle book, setting the stage for the big finale. Three stars.
Disney Book Group has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on February 12, 2013.