The end of everything came quickly, but the road back is endless and full of heartbreak.
After months of only death and loss, Veritas may be the answer everyone has been searching for—a cure. Savannah wants nothing more than to begin rebuilding, but with both the Initiative and the United Militia vying for power, there are no easy answers. Ending the threat for good could mean becoming something far worse than the monsters she is fighting against.
The infected will not go quietly. For Chelsea, the choice to step back into the world of the living is anything but simple. No miracle can erase the memories of the things she saw or the people she killed. While the girl she was struggles against the beast she became, Chelsea must make a choice—succumb or fight.
Kellie has been in love with stories in all of their forms for as long as she can remember. Admittedly, sometimes that means falling into places like Stars Hollow and Sunnydale, but books have always been her true love.
Kellie spent part of her twenties living in Galway, Ireland and swooning after various lilting accents but is now back home in Ontario, Canada.
*I received this book as an eARC from Patchwork Press on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
I really enjoyed Mortality. It takes the whole zombie trope and makes it something new and unique. The characters were (mostly) likeable, and I really wanted to know how things were going to play out for Savannah and her friends. Even though we no longer have Zarah's story to follow, we still get to see things from the zombie perspective, which is always a welcome change of pace.
Although I did like Savannah in the first book, I think I liked her even more in this book. She's less obnoxious, and she's trying to make the best decisions for herself, her friends, and her world. She just wants to do right and save as many people as she can, and I think she's doing a fairly decent job of it. There was a little bit of romantic drama going on that just annoyed me more than anything, but it's not the main focus of the book and it gets easier to ignore as the book goes on. I also thought having Savannah in both books are the anchor of the series was a really smart idea, especially since our zombie narrator gets switched up.
In this book, we get to see things from Chelsea's perspective. She's a new kind of zombie - smart and fast, still hungry for human brains and human meat in general, but still aware of what "The Beast" is doing. Human Chelsea takes a kind of backseat to her own life, and can only watch as her body and the virus kill more and more survivors. She keeps count of how many people "The Beast" kills, but she's nearly powerless to stop it. There are some times when Chelsea is able to gain control, but these moments are short lived and few and far between. Like with Zarah's sections in the first book, I think Chelsea's were my favorite chapters in this book.
It's rare to find a book that tells the story from the perspective of the monster, and I think Kellie Sheridan does a great job of showing us the world from opposing sides. Veritas has its pros and cons, and I think its easier to see things like that when we're not restricted to just one character on one side of the war. Duality ends well and I was actually kind of happy that the ending was so open. Sometimes it's nice to be able to imagine what happens next and not be told exactly who goes where and does what.
I'd definitely recommend this series to anyone looking for a fun, easy, zombie read. This one does kind of feel like a second book though, and there were times when I thought the pacing was a little slow, but it does a nice job of wrapping up the series. I didn't think it was as great as the first book, but I still really enjoyed it! 3.5/5
Continuing the story from Mortality some time after the first book, this book is more about the recovery whereas the first book really focussed on the down fall.
*There may be some spoilers in here for the first book*
Zarah has been changed for Chelsea in this novel as the secondary main character in this novel. I found her story however to be the most interesting. Starting as one of the zombies (the second generation, oops, the vaccine failed according to the first rule of not properly tested vaccines* zombies) she struggles to become human once more.
Savannah on the other hand is still trying to survive.
If you're looking for a deep novel on what makes us human, look further. If you want an enjoyable zombie novel or a nice snackbook? This is a good one.
There's not too much info on the zombies. But basically all you need to know about them is there's two different kinds. They are hungry, looking for BRAINS (and other human meat for that matter).
The romantic drama was unnecessary and it didn't really add to the story. What I did really like was the fact that the ending was quite open. I happen to notice lately that there's a need for what I think of as 'overclosure' at the end of a series. But this book ends and you could just feel there was a bit more to their story. It was done, sort of, but it didn't end with these boring (I never seem to like them) extra chapters that usually get stuffed in at the end telling how everyone became a gardener or went to college and got a bunch of kids or something similar. This ending made me wonder: Is there another book? But according to the set I got it was the complete series, so I don't think it is. The real end of the story is left to our own imagination I think.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this series and would read another series by Kellie Sheridan.
*First rule of not properly tested vaccines: It will go horribly wrong and people will turn into zombies.
Duality is the final book in the Hitchhiker's Strain duology. The first book is called Mortality. There's a prequel called End Dayz that collects four short stories.
Mortality is a young adult post-apocalyptic zombie story that will have you on the edge of your seat. Kellie Sheridan tells two stories simultaneously that intertwine to create Mortality. The two narrators Savannah and Zarah fight their way through a world full of zombies, but ultimately their biggest enemy are those still living who have their own agendas. They fight for love,friendship, and their lives. Morality was an amazing book and I was hooked from chapter one.
Zombie stories have been told many times. Kellie Sheridan was able to put a unique spin of the idea of a virus making people crave human flesh. It was extremely creative that she made it her own. In this story the spread of the original virus wasn't as widespread as most stories. Therefore people were able to create a vaccine, but said vaccine had some very bad side effects. It was really interesting and different from anything I have read or seen.
Sometimes multiple point of views don't always work and sometimes you end up gravitating towards the original narrator because you have a longer connection to them. I think the use of both Savannah and Zarah worked great in this book. Further more, I loved that Kellie Sheridan wrote more chapters in Savannah's P.O.V because you start this story with her and she is in the present. I never had that feeling when I was waiting for a Savannah chapter because Zarah's were few in between. At the same time I enjoyed reading from Zarah's P.O.V because we got to see what happened during the initial outbreak and the second outbreak, which wasn't shown in Savannah's perspective.
Savannah is hands down my favorite character in this book. I really connected with her determination and ambition. She wasn't going to settle for greatly completing a simple task ; she wanted to accomplish a difficult task whether or not she did is a different story. She isn't perfect and she makes mistakes, but she always tries to right her wrongs. Lately in YA, we are seeing these perfect heroines/heroes who time and time again rise to the occasion and miraculously save the day. Yes this is fiction, but I want realistic characters who fall down and can then pick them selves back up.
The turn of events with Zarah were absolutely crazy. I was so not expecting that to happen at all. I loved how Kellie Sheridan wrote her transition through that. Her writing style in the mind set of someone who is infected was incredible. It felt like I was reading from someone who was truly losing them self and that someone was only compelled by their need for food.
The is romance in this book, but it never over shadowed the conflicts in the book. There are two main relationships in this book. Zarah and Liam are a couple that we don't necessarily see fall in love, but you get to see them in love. I loved them together, and what made them work was that they would have done anything for each other. Then there is Savannah and Cole, as romances go they weren't my favorite. There relationship is still very new, but I am just not the biggest fan of him. I like him as a character, but I also don't trust him. Hopefully in the next book I will like Cole more.
I loved how through out this story both narrators are pretty close to each other and as the reader you are constantly waiting for them to meet. They finally do right at the end of the book. I can't believe what happened, it was completely crazy. I have so many feelings about it.
I can't wait to read Duality. I need to know what happens next and how Savannah, Liam, and Cole are going to get through all of this. I also really want to read End Dayz, the prequel that sheds light of the pasts of Alex, Belle, Zack, and Pierce.This book is definitely for fans of The Walking Dead and The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. I can't recommend this book enough.
NOTE: My review may have spoilers if you have NOT read the 1st book yet! You are WARNED!!!
DUALITY has been a long time coming for me! I read the 1st book MORTALITY last year and was amazed by the originality, and the unique new take on the zombie genre! Kelly has taken your average zombie and turned them into something so unique, and addicting, that it will keep you up into the wee hours just needing more of the gruesome, yet addicting zombie-filled world she's created, with a romance spin that's sure to sway more then a few hearts!
I can definitely say that DUALITY has lived up to it's predecessor, and some! I really had my doubts that DUALITY could even come close to how much I loved the 1st book MORTALITY, but it did! Kelly has brought yet another amazing adventure through this virus-filled world in THE HITCH HIKER STRAIN!
Savannah is just trying to pick up the pieces of her screwed up life when she arrives at Veritas, the safe haven that she has longed for ever since the zombies first outbreak into the world.
As Savannah slowly heals her body from her time in the zombie-filled wasteland, she finally gets cleared by medical and allowed more freedom. And she so desperately needs it after being confided to Veritas since getting there. She's ready to start pulling her own weight around there and wants to get back to what she knows best, salvaging the zombie-filled wasteland for supplies!
That's when Savannah's journey official begins. As her and newly formed team heads out into the wastelands to find more supplies that they so desperately need, she is faced with the horrible truth, hordes and hordes of Zombies are heading for the town that her long lost friends were suppose to be going to when they split up!
Savannah has 2 choices, turn around and salvage, then go back to her safe haven in Veritas, where she hopes to remain safe with the new people she now lives with. Or, she can beat the horde to the town occupied by her long lost friends and hopefully give them enough time to prepare to either run or at least try to ward of the 100's of zombies heading their way. But Savannah has to decide, and she has to do it quick because the zombies are closing in, and she'll have to face the fact that if she goes to that town, she might not make it out alive!
Chelsea isn't one of the lucky ones, she's been bitten and turned into a Z, a half-zombie so to speak. Not all the way zombie, but not all the way human either. She travels the vast wastelands day-in, and day-out, craving the fresh flesh of the humans. She hunts and feds on human flesh, not because she wants too, but because she has too! Theirs a beast so deep inside her, that when it takes hold, it controls her every action, she's forced to endure the hunt, find the prey, then.... fed!
But is there hope for people/zombies like her? Is their a cure that might just be able to pull her back from what she's become? Or is Chelsea a lost cause? Well Chelsea is about to find out!
DUALITY was truly great! It's a must read for any zombie fan! It's a different kind of zombie book that I am SO glad I read! I really hope Kelly decides to write another book in this series, because I don't want it to end!
NOTE: I received an eARC from the Author for review. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
I’ll admit it; this is one of those books that I picked up and got so sucked into that I forgot to leave myself any notes to fall back on for the review I knew I’d be writing. It was that good.
As far as the technical side of things goes, there were very few errors. I found two. Not only is that acceptable for a published book, it’s pretty damned impressive. The narrative was clear, easy to read, and moved at a pretty decent pace. I never felt like it was dragging or moving too fast. Overall? I have no complaints.
As far as the story itself goes… this was a good addition to the series, and a solid continuation of the story set up in the first book, Mortality. Once again, the narrative was split between a small cast of characters, the main two being Savannah (from the first book) and a new player: Chelsea. To be honest, I like Savannah and she works well to tie all the books together, but she definitely isn’t my favorite character. In the first book, Savannah was a bit self-centered and all-over-the-place. She got herself and a lot of other people into danger with the poor snap decisions she made. She waffled on her romances, and in the end, I wasn’t a huge fan of her. It seemed like in Duality at least, she’d settled down and found herself. There was a lot less ‘obnoxious teenager’ to her character, and a lot more of a girl who was just trying to make the best decisions she could and save as much of humanity as she could muster. I ended up liking her more in this book than the first—she’s still not my favorite though.
That distinction fell to Chelsea. One of the best parts of this book and the series as a whole, is the way the author portrayed the zombie characters. In this book, that role belonged to Chelsea Zimmerman—a sixteen-year-old girl who finds herself trapped and sharing her body with the zombie virus that she refers to as “the beast”. She’s completely awake—aware of what she’s doing as an infected second-generation Zombie, but can do nothing to stop it. She spends her days sitting in the backseat of her mind, keeping a running death toll on how many survivors she’s killed and doing her best to keep the zombie part of her brain from walking itself into dangerous situations. Seeing the post-apocalyptic world from a tragically aware zombie girl’s point of view was both fascinating and equal parts horrifying.
And that’s the great thing about this book, and indeed, this series: it tells the very human story of what the world is like after a zombie apocalypse… but it doesn’t restrain the point of view to just the human survivors. The author delved into the heartbreaking idea of what would happen if a person became a zombie but was fully aware… just unable to stop themselves.
If you’re looking for a good zombie series, look no further. This book was fantastic, the series is probably one of the best zombie themed series I’ve read. There are some elements of romance (though not enough to make me squee in joy), horror, friendship, thrills, action, and adventure. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good zombie read. This one is going on my keeper shelf.