Let me just start this review by saying this book absolutely blew me away.
I am, admittedly, a huge fan of Robert Duperre's work. I love the way he stretches the genre of horror to be so much more than the sum of it's parts. Like so many master authors before him, Robert Duperre has the ability to develop full, rich characters with brilliant abilities AND realistic flaws, he puts them in completely fleshed out scenery and amidst events dramatic on global and personal scales and he makes the reader connect in a viseral, emotional way.
The first two books in this series bring you to the point where life is not easy for these characters. The world as we know it has completely fallen apart. Those few who survived the horror begin to band together but are met time and again by obstacles, be they monsters or the aftermath. Still, humans have the inherant ability to move on, in the toughest circumstances, against the harshest of odds. And such is the case with these characters.
I loved the way Macy grew in this book, learning to trust herself and find love, making mistakes along the way. Josh too deepens his connection with Kyra, his long time love and the woman carrying his child. But the characters I was most fascinated by were those who had aligned themselves with evil.
There's Tom Steinberg, the former Speaker of the House, to start with. He's been around since The Fall, but in the first two books he was so controlled by Sam, the not-quite-a-real-man with the evil plan, that I didn't really connect with him. But Tom starts to question Sam in this book, pushing back as he remembers the things that are important to him: his wife and daughter. The struggle Tom endures to save his own soul becomes a prominent story line in this book.
We also meet the not-so-altruistic portions of the human race. General Bathgate and his toady, Cody Jackson, are some of the most dispicable characters I have ever come across in fiction, and I found them fascinating. The issues that roil within their psyche's are PROFOUND and deep. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what insanity they engage in and incite in the next and final book, The Summer Son!
I have but one warning for this book: the cliff-hanger just might kill you. But honestly, it's just SO worth it!!!
Bottom Line: Watch out! Robert Duperre will have you cringing, crying and desperate to see the anguish these characters are mired in stop. But the one thing you WON'T be doing, is putting this book down, because I know, like me, you won't be able to stop until you've savored every last word!