*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review, at my request.
Layla and her family and friends exit the labyrinth and find themselves in thick woods. The other side was to be safe for them all. What they find is far from it. Layla does come across new allies in the world of the walking dead. Now she needs to choose who she thinks she can trust, after learning she placed her trust in others to easily. There's an ancient power at work now. Layla and her crew starts to question, why would spirits of the land help them, or hinder them?
I've continued listening to the series as I love Kristin's voice acting. She slips into each and every character, becoming them in voice. She does the breathless moments when in dialog. She does several accents through the story for Cricket, Tristan, and many others along with deeper and different tones for male and females. All this makes it so easy for the listener to differentiate the characters. I love how Kristin knows what words to put an accent on, to show there is more meaning behind the word.
Layla is still strong for her people. But she's starting to break down. She's realized too late that she's trusted to easily. And her friends have paid for the mistake in blood. Not everyone, or being, is good inside. Now Layla must figure out who she can trust in this dark world of death. I feel for her as she's slipped into the role of leader for her strength and insight from the spirits. Those that are left from Hamletville look to her for guidance on if they stay or go.
This book brings Cricket and those from her novella together with Layla and her friends from Hamletville. Cricket is a sweet yet determined young lady. I really enjoy her outlook on things and her strength. We do learn about what we suspected of Tristan. Well, part of it. We'll most likely learn more as we come out the portal in book three. Seeing Vella the tarot reader interact with Layla, the few short times we do, I got excited. I would like to see them talk more. I don't know, I think it's a feel I got when Layla was with her grandmother. I just loved the feel of the old blood in them.
We also come to meet new characters. A few of which I enjoyed and love and a few that I'm very suspicious of. One new character is a Doctor. Dr. Gustav is working hard to figure out what happened to cause the undead in people and she thinks she can cure it!
Melanie walks us through the next expansion of the world here. We saw the undead and vampires in the first book. We learn about the thin places and fog here, along with some of the natural spirits. Each growth of the world in each book is placed to explain and grow the stories. We even start to get a look into why this is happening along with how. And, to Layla and a few other observers, there is a difference in the undead as well. Which kind of made me start to feel for the undead. *gasp*
I know the characters are in constant trouble with the danger of the undead and vampires, but it doesn't feel high strung fast. I really like this. People need rest, even if not 100% trusting of those around them. That comes through yet the stories moving to keep us interested. The grown of the world helps balance the pacing and action. Not to fast. Not to slow. Just right.
Melanie did the one thing I feared she'd do from the moment we walked into Claddagh-Basel college. I'm not telling you what it was. You have to figure it out yourself. But it did leave me NEEDING book 3! lol!
Really can't wait to continue in this series with the next novella and novel!