SURVIVOR by James  Phelan


From the "Alone" series, volume 2
Age Range: 13 - 16
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Jesse’s hunting for survivors, but he’s got husks on his heels.

Twelve days after the attack on New York City that transformed the population into shells with an unquenchable thirst, 16-year-old Jesse starts casing the city to find Felicity, a young woman whose taped message Jesse has discovered. While searching, Jesse runs into soldiers who are researching the plague, and he finds Rachel, a dedicated zoo intern caring for the Central Park animals, and Caleb, a former jock holed up in a bookstore. Jesse’s goal of bringing all the survivors together falls apart when military drones begin targeting survivors and Chasers alike, and one of his new companions is caught in the crossfire. With this second in the Alone series, Phelan fails to address the problem of the first novel: The Chasers are simply not scary. Truly successful zombie novels describe the individual appearances of the beasts, but the Chasers are lumped together with bland characteristics like “sunken cheeks and “bloodied mouths.” As a main character, Jesse is dull, but the supporting cast manages to infuse him with a bit of depth. The suspense never builds into real tension, making the whole narrative a plod to the setup for the (hopefully) final book.

A shell devoid of true action and suspense. (Horror. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8068-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013


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