I really should have stuck to my instincts and avoided this book. I knew I was not going to like where the story and characters were going.
It is such a dirty, disheartening read. The world is populated by cretins, power mongering fools, madmen, evil scientists, zombies, placated and terrified masses, and everyone thinking they get to play God in world that has forgotten what that even means. Even our supposed heroes and heroines, who have a vague mission to tell the truth and get the news out to everyone else, do not seem to really believe that truth matters. It is how you perceive it and what it causes and who believes it that matters to them. Not the actual truth. Which is a pity, as the series could have had a serious truth behind its apocalypse. Instead, we get action and science fiction with viruses run amuck and turning people into zombies when people tried to cure the common cold and cancer, clones, memory transference, conspiracies, control and manipulation from everyone in government and medical institutions that should have been helping but were actually behind mass murder and cover-ups, and no one to care about, not even George, Shaun, Becks, Mahir, Alaric, or Maggie. The truth is that we never, not in the course of three novels and well over 2000 pages, ever came close to really knowing who these people are and that, right there, alone undermines every shred of credibility these characters have to move us to care about their plight and their fates.
Telling not showing over and over again. Tiny snippets from their blogs to try and impart an entire personality, as well as development and motivation? No.
Why, oh why, are Shaun and Georgia still referred to as brother and sister when their relationship is anything but that? So they are not related. Fine. But stop, please stop referring to one another that way then. The people with you know the truth, so let it go.
And the idea of the clones and memory transference? A) I do not believe someone with the same DNA would necessarily look exactly alike. B) I don't buy that your memories alone make you who you are so I have some deep and lasting reservations about the George clone, although they do make a point that she is not and can never be exactly Georgia, which was appreciated, but even that was not really delved into as I would have liked to have seen. The basic problem with this book (and series) is that is all action and one-liners, with no depth, no resonance, no real meaning.
I think I could have really enjoyed this series if it had focused more on the complex dynamics between the Mason family as a whole, esp. Stacey and Michael and their lives prior to the Rising, losing their son, adopting Shaun and Georgia, the kids trying to please their parents, earn the love of two very broken individuals. In short, had this book had a true emotional heart and authentic characters it would have been so much more than the convoluted, overly pedantic scifi thriller that it is. Which is a pity because that other book sounds amazing.
Content: gore, people get shot in the head every chapter about, violence, corruption, lot of really strong language and very frequent use, etc. You have been forewarned.