Four teens struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic New York City.
After Jesse, Dave, Anna and Mini, 16-year-old youth ambassadors for the United Nations, are tossed around in a massive subway explosion, they emerge on the streets of the city to see people drinking from fire hydrants and rivers—and bodies. The teens take refuge in the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, using the high vantage point to survey the remnants of Manhattan and plot their escape from the zombielike people they call Chasers. As Jesse scouts the bridges and tunnels, he learns that perhaps the Chasers are not as inhuman as they appear. Phelan, an Australian like narrator Jesse, uses slang judiciously, with minimal impact on the book’s overall readability. Jesse’s perceptions of New York City seem to come from a different era, with gangs and graffiti, though the author deserves credit for accurate geography. Secondary characters are given rough outlines, but they lack the nuance to add much to the narrative. In attempting to deviate from the normal zombie arc, Phelan fails to develop the Chasers as satisfyingly scary, making them awkward at best. Additional content includes both a discussion guide and an author question-and-answer section.
Overall, unlikely to satisfy any real thirst for adventure. (Adventure. 12-14)