*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.
Cricket is a carnie. She owns and runs the tilt-a-whirl. But today, the carnival shuts down early and starts to pack up. People are terribly sick and there are cities on quarantine. It's stopping them from coming out. Then when Cricket wakes the next day, the illness has hit the town she's in. She manages to escape with her mutt of a dog, Puck, and the tarot reader, Vella. But are they escaping or driving into the face of danger?
First thing that stuck out to me in listening to this audiobook, Kristin has a completely different voice! She is amazing at voices. In Midway, Kristin has a sweet southern accent that fits Cricket's personality. She seems kind and innocent. Kristin once again masters an abundance of emotions in her voice. The emotion and the rush or relaxing feeling of the words spoken. When things jump and the character is scared, the words are faster yet clear and bring my heart to a faster pace. I hang on her words wanting to know what happens.
Melanie is wonderful about setting the stage in the first chapter with this being a novella. We meet Cricket and many other carnie folks. We also learn that things are not well in the world. There is news that many are sick, places are shut down, and that the sick are turning on other patients resulting in being gunned down.
We have a Romanian tarot reader with the carnival. She reminds me a bit of Layla's grandma from the first book. Here, Vella knows things, and is known to be spot on with her predictions. Her prediction here...well, not good. But there is hope a few will live through the chaos that's to come.
Cricket is handy with her large wrench, in more than fixing the equipment. lol. She can swing a wrench good. Cricket is a good girl. She seems honest and kind to people around her. She grows in this story as she has to do things to people she never dreamed of. She sees it as killing them, but they are already dead, however it doesn't make it any easier.
I love that Cricket has a dog, which I'm curious about him. Hmm... (and worry for him through the book.) Puck growls every time he sees the sick, warning her. Cricket and Puck go on the move with Vella. They learn what stops the sick when they attack. Then we come to others that are held up. They bring a glimpse of a dark side that other people are doing to other living people in the world. Then a moment that makes me wonder if the risen dead are thinking...
Oh the things we learn here. Those things Bring new questions and worry to the world of the walking dead. Oh the dark things that people do to others in this dreadful time. We see something happen that's shocking. I'm curious to see more of this world in the next book! Things get deeper and deeper in the world.
The heart tightening catch with these stories, so far for me, is what the people go through at the beginning with those they know and love, those that are like family. And learning what is happening to the world.
Do you have to read the first book before this? No. This story is of a different group of people. Though the novella and the first book will cross paths in the second book. So read this novella and the first book in the order you'd like, but remember they both come together for the second full length novel.