Two years after a sweeping pandemic decimates the world’s population, two teens hope their nightmare has come to an end—but the virus has evolved.
In England, Leon Friedmann and Freya Hart, both presumably white, have been struggling to survive for two years since a gruesome virus killed off or scared off most of the populace. Leon, whose father was in New York City when it struck, lost his 12-year-old sister, Grace, in a horrific fire. Meanwhile, Freya’s multiple sclerosis gets more painful by the day. During a supply run, they discover a radio transmission promising that help can be found in Southampton. On their way to the port city, they’re taken in by a well-meaning man and his army of Knights. When a young girl claiming to be Leon’s sister, Grace, is rescued, Leon is initially thrilled, but all is not as it seems. The virus, thought to have been killed by two extreme winters, has evolved in terrifying ways. Meanwhile, Leon’s father, Tom, has spent the past two years trying to find his family. Scarrow’s thrilling follow-up to Plague Land (2017) effortlessly welcomes new readers into his vividly rendered wasteland populated with an otherworldly and terrifyingly intelligent organism bent on remaking humanity. He even throws in an homage to the film The Thing.
Readers with weak stomachs need not apply, but those who love cinematic, thrill-a-minute apocalyptic horror will be riveted. (Horror. 14-18)