*I listened to the free podcast of the audio book.
Em and the birthday children are now on the planet, but can they survive? The food stores are not eatable and there are others here that are a threat to them. But the children also have their own divisions starting which is fueled by the learning of the symbols and what the grown-ups had planned. The grown-ups are also a worry for the kids too.
Yes this is the audio book I listened to but it was done in sections through podcast on Scott Sigler's site. Scott is kind enough to give us a recap of what came to pass in Alive and each previous episode of where we left off. This makes it easier to remember what was happening and how I felt at those events.
Emma returns to narrate the book, which I'm glad because the personality she portrayed for Em in the first book became Em for me. In other words, I've grown attached to her for the characters. Emma does a fabulous job of voicing the personality of all the characters, Em, Bishop's strength, Aramovski's smooth jabs at Em, and so much more for those we've grown close to. I love the emotions Emma brings to Em and all the characters she voices.
The beginning of the book gives us a great rundown of all the events Em has lived through and brings the fresh rush of fear and sorrow through living through it. I really liked this beginning. It's like Em is awakening for the first time again. The kids had to get into coffins in order to land. There is a gas that subdued them for the landing process, so in a way Em is waking again. And she feels all the fear she felt the first time blended with the fears she felt and faced in Alive. This fits so well.
We dive in with a new sight and new world. What Em and the birthday children find is nothing they ever imagined! The planet they were created to live on has been explored already. And it's ready for them. Where I thought Alive was a slower start, this book is the opposite. As they find things that are useful, they find something bad about it or countering it. The kids will all have to find a way to survive. And the comment of Brewer from Alive makes sense to Em now, 'hopefully you can break the mold...'
The first awakened kids are all scared, inside and out. The things they had to do to survive scars them inside and the battles they fought make them unique from those that created them.
I really like Em and how she leads. She knows if she can't face danger, how could she expect others to. Em is a wonderful leader. She's not the smartest in all areas, but she makes the gut decisions needed to keep everyone safe and to survive. That's what it takes in a world like this. She's a natural at this. She also knows when to delegate to those that have the knowledge in different areas.
Em stands for so much more to me than a character in a story. Her whole creation shows that people can be more than others think. You can do more with your own drive and will pushing you. Em has taken her self beyond what she was originally destined to be. Em grows in mental and emotional strength through this book. She does what needs to be done, but I worry about her when it's all said and done. The aftermath is going to break her inside, but sometimes that seems to be the sacrifice that great leaders have to make.
Em has a growing relationship with O'Malley and Bishop as these kids grow and experience feelings. But then there's Aramovsky. Grrr. He is such a thorn in Em's side! But he's so well written, tip of the hat to Scott for a job well done as I really do not like him. I dread each time he opens his mouth.
This is the second book of the trilogy, you will want to read the first book first. We get some answers to things we've been curious to. Yet a whole new struggle for the birthday kids starts. My heart goes out to Em...what she learns and how she tries so hard to do for all.
This book blew me away. For me, it was beyond better than the first book. Maybe I am more aware as to what to expect from Scott's writing coming into this book... But this book has hit way beyond my expectations with twists and turns, reveals, and unexpected events. I did listen to this as a podcast and each and every episode had my full attention. The suspense has gripped my attention in this book along with the action, unknown, and all that we learn here. My heart pounded for the kids I've grown close to. I fear for death and worse, the transfer of the adults to them.
The ending leaves us with finishing the battle to survive on the planet, but there is still worries and stresses. And new threats on the horizon.