This is the "companion" novel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which I LOVED. And I have to comment on the cover of this book - I think it's gorgeous and extremely eye-catching (yes, I do frequently judge a book by the cover!)
Ok, it took me several days to get through this book. It just wasn't as captivating as the first one. It was kind of slow, actually, in a lot of places. Oh, and I have to confess that I had one of those "I feel really dumb" moments about 50 pages in. See, since the cover says "companion" novel, and not "sequel" - I read the first several chapters thinking this was a prequel. See, the main character in this book is named Gabry, or Gabrielle. Well, in the first book, Gabrielle was the girl that Mary was drawn to in the forest who ended up turning into a Mudo (zombie). So, I totally thought this book was going back and telling Gabry's story...Well, that wasn't the case. Gabry in THIS book is actually Mary's daughter - named after the Gabry from the forest, of course. Soooooo, this IS a sequel, several years in the future.
Mary and Gabry live in the lighthouse by the ocean. Mary's job is to decapitate the Mudo that wash up on the shores to keep them from infecting the town of Vista. Gabry has grown up scared of what's outside her secure, fenced in world. One night her friends manage to talk her into going over the fence into unsafe territory. She receives her first kiss from Catcher, a boy she has loved most of her life. But then, her greatest fears were realized when Mudo appear and attack her friends, thereby infecting them and causing them to turn into Mudo. Catcher, included. Gabry is torn - does she stay with Catcher, and risk being in trouble with the Militia, or does she escape? Catcher convinces her to go.
Unfortunately, she was the only one who was able to escape. Her friends, who were not infected (including Catcher's sister and Gabry's best friend, Cira) are arrested and ordered to join the "Recruiters" - a fate almost as bad as death. Cira threatens to turn her in, unless she is able to find Catcher and bring him back.
In the meantime Gabry meets a mysterious boy, Elias, who offers to help her find Catcher, as he knows where he is. Gabry is confused by his intentions as well as her growing feelings for him.
They do find Catcher, and discover that he is immune to infection from the Mudo. Which makes him extremely valuable to the Recruiters. It is only a matter of time before the Recruiters come after him, as well as for Gabry as they find out the things that she has done. They are on the run - back through the forest of hands and teeth...
Overall, I really liked the book...it had long moments that dragged, interspersed with nail-biting adventure. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. And I will be reading the final book The Dark and Hollow Places.