Nazarea Andrews has taken new adult romance out of the college classroom and moved it into a post-apocalyptic world where survivors of a world-wide virus outbreak struggle to survive the terror of zombie hordes that surround them. They thought they were safe behind the walls and barbed wires fencing of their Havens, but the hordes have grown much larger in number and the walls are beginning to crumble. No Haven in what's left of the U.S. is safe from the zombies headed their way. If you want to spice up your romance with a bit of zombie action and violence, then you should definitely check out The World Without End series.
The two main characters featured in this series are Ren and Finn. Ren was born on the day of the virus outbreak and has grown up in this post-apocalyptic world without ever knowing what life was like before. However, her older brother Collin and his best friend, Finn remember the country and the beauty and conveniences it once offered. Now the survivors live in Havens across the country, but as the story progresses, it becomes evident that a political structure and hierarchy similar to pre-zombie society continues to exist, and the vices that people once openly engaged haven’t disappeared; they’ve just moved underground. Even though this is a different world, people still try to hold on to their old lifestyles.
Ren and Finn have an antagonistic but desire-driven relationship throughout the entire book. Finn has many secrets about his past that he refuses to disclose, and Ren has always been a bit jealous of his closeness to her brother. She doesn’t understand Finn and becomes even more frustrated when they have to journey together to another Haven in search of medicine for her best friend/boyfriend, Dustin. Although Collin has remained behind, he knows Finn is the best person to protect Ren. Finn needs Ren to trust him, but will never answer any of her questions. Through their travels together, Ren learns bits and pieces about Finn’s life from her observations of his interactions and behavior toward others they encounter. As a reader, just when I thought I had begun to figure out who Finn really is, later scenes would bring up even more questions for speculation. Ren and Finn’s proverbial tug of war is one of the main aspects that make this book so enjoyable. Through their relationship, Andrews explores the fine line between love and hate and the passion that simmers beneath, waiting to explode. The sexual tension between the two is intense to say the least.
Another aspect that I liked is that Andrews provides an unusual twist to the typical zombie plot by describing how and why a cult-like group called the Order organizes a “celebratory tribute” every year on the anniversary of the initial outbreak that occurred 20 years prior. Readers are given clues early in the book that Ren is somehow different, but as the story progresses, her threat to the order and the danger she faces during the anniversary events are revealed, and it’s quite a shocker.
Andrews brings to life this fictitious and dangerous world that brings out both the best and the worst in humanity. As a reader, be prepared for scenes that contain graphic violence, rough language, and sexual situations. Despite the intermittent proofreading errors I found throughout the book, I still found this to be a very enjoyable read.
Source: I received a copy of this book from the author to provide an honest review.