This is an ARC I received last summer at BEA, and I got to meet Ellen Datlow, one of the editors!
I started reading it in February, put it in my master bathroom, for when I took bubble baths. And then I finished the last few stories on Saturday finally. It’s not that it was bad, it just was only for reading at certain times. Actually there were many stories I did like, and many that were okay, and a few that I didn’t like. These are stories basically told to show what happens right after the big event that causes the dystopian or apocalyptic stories that we read. I guess it makes sense that stories by authors I’d already read and loved would be some of my favorites. To make this a positive review, I’m going to talk about a few of my favorites in this anthology.
First is After the Cure by Carrie Ryan. Ryan’s books are zombie stories, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead Tossed Waves, The Dark and Hollow Places. And this story takes place after they figure a cure for the zombies, so I would assume after the other books maybe? It is the story of a girl who was cured. She comes back and they give her father’s house house, which is located outside of town. That’s a good thing, as people are still not trusting of the cured. For example, school. She’s still about 16, so when she goes back to high school, she is put in segregated classes along with the other “cured”. We get a look into what caused it, as the main character sees on tv video footage of it as it all began. She does have a boy named James who befriends her, he knew her before. He’s one of few that give her a chance. All alone in her cabin in the woods, she can feel the uncured when they run around at night, and she has the strong urge to join them. It’s about her struggle with that, fitting in, and how she decides to deal with those urges and move on with her “normal” life. I got to meet Carrie Ryan at Romantic Times Convention this past weekend!
My second favorite was The Other Elder by Beth Revis. She is the author of the Across the Universe series. I liked this one too as it gave us a bit of background on the Elders from the stories. We learn even more about how they are raised, and more about what life is like for the Feeder level. They talk about the rules the Elder must follow, and we see when one Eldest leaves, and an Elder takes his place. This Elder sees video of what the ship was like before the Feeder level people became the way they are as we learn in the series. When I got to meet Beth Revis at the RT Convention this past weekend, I asked her what I wondered the whole time I read this story, is the Elder in this the one in the full length novels? And she wouldn’t tell me! Such a (wonderfully) maddening author!