*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Marnye Young is a new narrator for me. I found I enjoyed her smooth voice and pace from the beginning. My brain didn't fight her voice, but instead instantly fell into pace with her narration. The characters felt to be true to the feelings she gave us in voice.
The first chapter is how the world ended and what happened to the people. This could have easily been boring, but it was well done! I got to know Bixby and what happened to the world. We see what the threat is and what they will be fighting. We also get hints as to weaknesses for the creatures. All this was well written that it kept my attention with being filled with a faster pace.
We have people who were not infected by the alien spores and are now fighting to survive in the world of people who are zombie like with the alien in them. Why are these people not infected? We get that answer as the story goes. I like that there are reasons for how and why things are the way they are. It puts my mind to ease, and the author does that. She gives me these answers so I can focus on the characters and what they are fighting for, and the romance that is present.
The story also has a romance to it. Bixby has a current lover, but she doesn't want love involved. Her heart still has a strong hold on Sam, who left a year ago and hasn't returned. Bixby starts to learn that she needs to open up her heart again, and this man is a perfect match for her. This is something Bixby thinks on through the book and finally accepts. (Although, after the ending, I think there's going to be heartache.)
It's been eight years since the first infection. They know what they are fighting and how to fight it. Though, there are changes seen. It's looking like the leeches are evolving and becoming a new, more dangerous, threat to the dwindling human survivors. Now, how do they stop this new threat from birthing and destroying what's remaining of humanity?
This is not a new story. The idea of the aliens and even the love relationships are something we're familiar with. But the author did a wonderful job of creating her own characters in the world. They are their own individuals and felt to stick out in this world for me. That's what makes the story for me.
The blend of hard personality to prevent feeling the hurt of lose in this world and growth of love along with an infected world one has to fight to survive was something that I slipped into and enjoyed. The book held my attention and I enjoyed Bixby's hard personality. Though, I can see some readers not liking Bixby's harsh personality. But, in her defense, it's her way of protecting herself and her heart. I really felt to understand why she was the way she was. And loved seeing her come to a realization in the end.
This book has an ending for what they are working to achieve. However, there was a comment made in the end that had me curious for the next book. Then, we get the last chapter which goes with the comment and REALLY has me curious about what will happen in the next book - with threat and love sides of the story.