Quite different from the first book, but still a great read
Carrie Ryan is a phenomenal writer who really understands the allure of a well-crafted dystopian world. Her post zombie-apocalypse world of paths and forests is irresistible and her writing style really elevates that of YA. I was hugely in love with the first book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth and at the end of that book, I was dying to know what became of Mary and the kids with whom she had escaped her town. It was smart of Ryan to leave that story line in the past, but Gabry was a weak heroine and even by the end of the second book I hadn't felt like she had really come into her own yet. I would still highly, highly recommend this book. I literally read it in one day because I was so caught up in the story.
- the beginning of this book, starting in the town where we last saw Mary, takes a while to reveal to the user that decades have passed since Mary's arrival. At first it seems like Vista is far more contained and suburban than Mary's town in the forest. I was hooked; the whole concept of teens sneaking out to explore an abandoned amusement park was fascinating.
- the inclusion of the religious cult that follows the Mudo was a stroke of genius and added a lot to this fictional world