Everyone over fourteen has been infected with an illness that makes them crave human flesh…Only the kids are left to fight and survive for themselves…
This is book five in a seven series set. Luckily, I’m reading them back-to-back which helps a lot. There’s no way I’d remember all these intertwining stories with a long gap between them. There are a lot of characters floating around London…
The focus this time is on a group at the Natural History Museum. There’s an infected kid hiding and hunting them, and a second group sets out on a trip to where the disease affecting the adults started, stumbling across a group calling themselves the ‘Twisted Kids’, a teratogenic bunch with odd abilities.
As though sensing that the endless killing of diseased adults is getting a little repetitive after five books (And it is), Higson keeps the death count down and spreads his wings a little, digging into the characters more, exploring their relationships and friendships.
Because of that, this is a slower and more thoughtful read than the other books. The pacing slips a little though, and this feels like it could have been shorter by about twenty pages.
Towards the end, the pacing picks up again when Small Sam re-appears. There’s a monster of a cliff-hanger with his sister Ella, but no spoilers as to what’s going on. I’m glad I don’t have to wait a year for the follow-up though.
As usual, the geography and the world is flawless and the characters (the ones he develops, that is: The rest are sometimes merely second-spear-carrier-on-the-left material) are well thought out.
It felt like a long walk to those closing chapters, but I’m here for the long haul right the way to book seven…Book six is coming next month!