Release Date: January 20, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
In this gripping sequel to THIS IS NOT A TEST, Rhys and Sloane are headed for a safe haven when they get separated along the way. Rhys is determined to reunite with Sloane until he discovers people who might need him more--people who offer him the closest he'll get to everything he's lost, if they can just hold on long enough.
Rhys thinks he has what it takes to survive and find the girl he lost, but in a world overrun by the dead, there are no guarantees and the next leg of his journey will test him in unimaginable ways.
After reading This Is Not a Test last year, I was highly anticipating this sequel.I loved the fact that we got to be inside of Rhys' head this time rather than Sloane. No offense to Sloane, but after a while, her "wanting to die" narrative got to be too much. Rhys's point of view was refreshing, and we got to see another avenue of this story.
In this book, the two are basically on the run the entire time. They are not safe behind walls or locked doors but are outdoors trying to make their way toward safety despite the fact that there are zombies all around them. They end up being separated, and this is where things begin to really get interesting, as Rhys meets a man, his wife and small child.
I liked the introduction of these new characters very much. I think it pulled Rhys and Sloane more into the world around them, rather than them being an us against the zombies. Choices are made, fights are necessary, people are in major danger, up close and personal, which I thought added a lot more to this sequel than the first book had. And there is some heartbreak in this book that upped the emotional factor for me.
The ending was interesting. Yes, it's a cliffhanger, and it's done in such a way that it was kind of eerie, where you're meant to puzzle over what this could possibly mean.
Courtney Summers is once again showing off her wonderful storytelling ability with great characters, excellent characterization, emotion, and pacing. I really liked this installment to the story and I'm looking forward to the third book.