Goodreads: It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.
Three months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.
Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers. Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.
But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.
The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.
It was absolute drudgery getting through the first 2/3 of the book. Everyone's starving and rebellious and Sam's got too many problems and you start to feel as stressed out as he is. I get it. Again it feels exactly like it would feel if you were literally in that situation. And maybe that's part of my problem - I read for escape, and the utter madness these kids are going through are not a fun escape. The first chapter was horrifyingly graphic and terrifying and great! But then after that it's mostly just 20 billion problems all happening simultaneously and I was getting really overwhelmed and I wasn't sure I was going to make it and AHHHHHHHH When the action picks up, it's really awesome and intense and I think I a sweat a puddle into my bed I was freaking out so much!
The book introduces some new characters and fleshes out some of the more minor characters in the first book (particularly Quinn) which I liked, although I can't fathom keeping track of anymore characters because I couldn't even tell you how many there are at this point. I honestly can't talk much about this book without spoilers, but I'm not really sure how the story is going to progress judging by the ending. It felt a bit like a filler book. I don't know why I'm not getting more into it than I am. The world building is awesome as is the level of detail. I think part of it is that there are just too many main players for me to really feel connected to them in any way. Although I really like Lana but I think that might primarily have to do with this:
"I am Lana Arwen Lazar," she cried with all the shrill force she could manage.
"My dad was into comic books, so he named me Lana for Superman's girlfriend Lana Lang."
You will serve me.
"And my mom added Arwen for the elf princess in The Lord of the Rings."
I seriously had a total fan girl moment when I got there (also she references "The Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel earlier in the book. Just yes. SO MUCH YES.)
And I think I'm going to like Orsay. Which is interesting since they both spent the majority of each book surviving on their own rather with the townies or rich kids.
I had more problems with this book than I did with the first one. I was upset about parts of the ending, but I can't tell you why as the spoilers are too big. It's not how I'd expected it to go down and it seemed a bit of a cop out. Actually a really big cop out. There were some issues brought up - Orc's alcoholism and Mary's bulimia keep getting mentioned over and over, but there is so much else going on that they aren't really dealt with, or what is dealt with is very short. Maybe this is going to get resolved in another book, because it seems weird to keep bringing it up and not doing anything about it. I get it, again things like would be going on as well, but this is a novel and not real life, so everything has to have a point. I also want to know why the villains are so messed up. We see why some of the sort of bad guys (like Orc) are messed up, but we don't know what's got Diana and Caine messed up, although I can accept Drake just being a psychopath. But not the other two. And why does Diana stay with Caine? She says that she is out for herself, yet she stays with Caine instead of Sam where she knows life will be better in the first book, and she helps him in this book when she knows it will mean high chance of death to help him, and after she helps him it'll get even worse! And she isn't even trying to hide that she loves him, as far as I can tell she really doesn't love him. At the very end after big fight everything is resolved (sort of), but it's sudden and there is no explanation of how things were dealt with to get there. Since the majority of the book was about these issues, I would have liked a little more time spent here.
That being said, there were still lots of things to love. The issues are still relevant - particularly because we have this huge divide going on about "normals" and "freaks" - easily seen as any time people see others as threatening (ex: Nazis vs. Jews). The story line is freakishly believable, even though one wouldn't think of supernatural powers and space invasion? or weird radioactive things? being a particularly believable subject. And once again, I was blown away by the diversity! Not only do we have latinos, blacks, whites, and asians, we have this:
"Sam, that's a great concept. And maybe you believe it. But I'm black and I'm a lesbian, so let me tell you: From what I know? Personal experience? There are always lines."
I never thought I was going to get to use this .gif and I'm super excited I can now haha
The last chapter of the book is SUPER creepy and it really makes you want to keep reading the books. And I'm going to. As much as I'm not loving this series, I can't come up with a good reason to stop. But I can come up with a million reasons why I should love the series, and I really recommend them to any dystopia lovers because I think I've just not been in the right frame of mind when I read the first couple of books. So I'm going to give myself some space from the series and then dive right in because I am so, so ready to fall in love with this series!