If book two of my Pop Culture Reading Assignment was everything I would want in a vampire novel, book three is full of a ton of my worst fears. It has inexplicable murder, government interventions, mass killing, religious fundamentalism, potential sexual assault, and a whole mess of other scary things. The novel begins with an event that the townsfolk of Oleander, Kansas refer to as the “Killing Day”. Five different people go on murder rampages and then commit suicide (or try to) after they’ve killed. Each one of these incidents leaves behind someone who witnessed the killing and is, unsurprisingly, effected by it. But, that’s not where the real horror is. (I know…the book starts with five murders, one of them a mass murder, and that’s not the real horror? Nope. It isn’t. There’s more to come.)
A year later, a tornado rips through town and levels parts of it. It also levels the power plant/military base on the outskirts of town. Following the tornado, the town is put under quarantine and that is when the real trouble begins.
The meat of the novel then is part supernatural scariness, part-dystopian nightmare and I couldn’t put it down. The teens who are at the center of the book (its told from their perspectives) are likable and flawed. I was scared for them and horrified by the choices that people made and thrilled the action.
This is a really good book. Beth did a great job picking it!