Annah’s world stopped that day, and she’s been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn’t feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?“
There are a few shark-jumping moments, where Ryan’s apparent love of the horror movie tropes shows through, but for the most part this is a high-intensity, gritty story of survival. And more than survival- what it means to be alive.
The title is more of an internal character reference, as this conclusion to the series poses the question: Would it be better to be undead, in a world devoid of hope or life? Do we press on, fighting for inches, because we deserve life, or simply out of habit?
The main character, Annah, is your typical tough-as-nails-and-needs-thawing female YA character, but I like that Ryan allows her to save herself (primarily through self-reflection and sheer stubbornness). I’d like to think I am like a mix of Annah and Mary, but that’s just vanity.
I’d recommend this to fans of either or both of the preceding books, dystopian YA that is less government-focused and more human-nature-focused, those who enjoy a gritty zombie novel, bibliophages struggling with depressive slumps, and those who enjoy a tough female protagonist.