on January 12th 2015
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A true friendship never dies.
Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything…
Even an apocalypse.
Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize.
Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss.
Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity.
Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together.
But in such a savage world, is there room for love?
In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death.
There are friends…
And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.
I hate you, Claire Riley. I haven’t read any of your books before, Madeline, but I hate you too. I have enough grief-driven rage to last for a good long while, too. Why must you make me care for your characters?! I realize that it’s the zombie apocalypse and Happily Ever Afters aren’t realistic. I do know that, and I appreciate it. I really do. But… throw me a fuckin’ bone!
I have read (and loved) several of Claire’s books before, but this was a first time for Madeline. From my understanding, Madeline Sheehan doesn’t write horror. She writes dark romance. It turns out that the two genres work very well together, as do Madeline and Claire. Their combined writing styles are seamless, to the point where I really have no clue who wrote which chapters. I wholeheartedly support this union!
The first half of the book was just the beginning. TTB didn’t really dig its talons into me until I reached the halfway point, and by then there was no turning back. The story follows Evelyn and Leisl on their struggle to find somewhere to belong in the ravaged world. Women have become nothing more than things, to be used and abused, to be beaten, raped or traded for more useful goods. I absolutely loathed this world, and I mean that in the best possible way. I completely immersed myself in it, and I felt every bit as frustrated with the women’s position as they did. It was violent, harsh, brutal. It was one take on the Z-pocalypse that I don’t think I’ve read anywhere before. The female lead in this type of book is usually physically strong, capable of fighting back in some way. But both Leisl and Evelyn are lacking in that department. They don’t know how to hunt, to shoot, to flay a zombie with their bare hands. They are, in the strictest sense of the word, weak. They’re not weak. Not really. They show a whole new meaning to strength, in that they find their own will to keep going within each other. We must all make sacrifices for the ones we love…
At the end of TTB, they were so kind as to tack on a frustrating teaser chapter from the next book. I was surprised at their choice for the next character, but not I’m more intrigued than ever! Can’t wait to see them pull this one off!