Thicker Than Blood #2
ARC provided by author to facilitate this review
It is the end of the world.
They call him Eagle, like the grand and beautiful bird that symbolizes freedom. During these dark times, when humanity is experiencing nothing but suffering, a man with such a powerful name should be a beacon of hope, yet he is anything but.
Her name is Autumn, but she hasn’t said this name or much of anything else in the four years since the fall of civilization. A shell of her former self, living wild in a cave at the bottom of a ravine, Autumn is accustomed to being alone. She prefers it, actually, especially when her only options for company either try to kill her, or worse, to lock her up inside their walls.
Captured by Eagle’s people, Autumn is suddenly thrust back into the land of the living, but she would hardly call it living. The community of Purgatory is full of sinners, the most evil of whom seem to have set their sights on her.
In an act born of anger and defiance, Eagle becomes Autumn’s unexpected savior, forcing these two solitary people into each other’s broken worlds. Neither knows quite what to make of the other, but one thing is certain. To survive Purgatory, they must learn how to rely on each other, a feat that could possibly teach them both how to live again
Well. This series just continues to impress me. We’ve talked about the first book in this series, Thicker Than Blood, here on the blog before, and it’s apparent that this is one of the lucky (for us!) few series that gets better as it goes along.
I made no qualms about telling you all that the first book took me a while to get into. Beneath Blood and Bone was quite different for me. This book hit the ground running, picking up at a key point from the first novel, and keeping me glued to the pages from the very beginning. While I don’t feel like you HAVE to read Thicker Than Blood in order to enjoy this book, I would still definitely recommend that you pick it up.
This book focuses on Eagle, who we met in the first book. While I wasn’t his biggest fan in that story, I loved getting to know him in Beneath Blood and Bone. He’s not who we thought he was, and his journey in this book was both exciting and heartbreaking.
Once again, Sheehan and Riley manage to pack these pages with action, intense emotion, and somehow, even a little bit of hope in this world that is now closer to hell than any of us can imagine. Their world-building is flawless, and for me, the scariest part wasn’t the “zombie apocalypse”, the hordes of undead just beyond the walls of Purgatory. No, the most frightening aspect of this story was how REAL it all felt. This horrifying new reality that Sheehan and Riley built is exactly what I could see society becoming in this sort of instance. It’s not the “biters” who have destroyed the world, WE have. The society that remains has de-volved into one that relies on our most base instincts, this kill-or-be-killed mentality that rules this new world.
However, even with that, beneath the grit, the grime, the filth of this world, we still see hope. Two hearts that have been dormant while fighting for survival in this world, finally stuttering back to life. But like anything in Purgatory, this love has to endure a fight for survival. In this book, it’s more than just a fight, it’s all-out war. With the first book’s perfectly imperfect ending, I was really nervous on how this would all shake out.
Beneath Blood and Bone is the rare sequel that I felt was superior to the original story, the Godfather II of the indie publishing world. I feel like these are books I could read over and over again, and get something new from them each time. The story is masterfully layered and put together perfectly, all of the characters playing their part flawlessly. After reading, I can only sit back and reflect on what I’ve read and what I’ve learned, and wonder what’s to come next from this hellish new world.
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