Series: The Famished Trilogy #2
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Author on October 27, 2013
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Add to Goodreads
With the help of her new companions, the path Kansas follows leads to more knowledge of the ever adapting famished.
The team finds help in unlikely places, meeting more survivors, and discovers the possibility of a new beginning.
When the team experiences a devastating loss, Kansas struggles to keep her humanity from fading and distorting like that of the surviving society around her. It begins with knowing who to trust and who to leave behind. First, she must trust herself – she won't make the same mistakes twice.
As the answers to her questions are revealed, Kansas begins to understand the knowledge comes with a heavy price and great responsibility of controlling the dead.
In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, this adult dark fantasy is as emotional as it is horrifyingly gripping.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A superb sequel that stirs up every emotion possible while reading!
Controlling the Dead wastes no time in getting to the nitty gritty of things picking up right where Taking the Dead left us, with a lot of questions to be answered. Kansas (aka Kan) is trying her best to recover after her horrific attack at the end of book one, but is finding it hard to readjust to life now that’s she back home in the community. She’s become somewhat of a loner (although I can’t blame her) but is determined to keep the ones closest to her safe by any means. The stakes are higher than ever in this post-apocalyptic world and just when you think things are going well, new revelations surface that force Kansas to make some life changing choices.
First let me start off by saying this book is so much more than just a “zombie book.” The world building and story in Controlling the Dead (and series) is phenomenal. The characters are just as unique as the plot and pull at your heartstrings with their raw emotion, it’s impossible to not feel a connection to them. Ms. Walls loves to put her characters through the ringer, but each obstacle they face makes them that much stronger. The relationships are just as complex as their world but they’ve managed to keep their humanity intact, their loyalty to each other and their cause is what keeps them going strong and what I love the most. There are no guaranteed HEAs in this world and the endgame is unpredictable.
Despite all the physical and emotional pain Kan has undergone, she remains the fiercely strong heroine I grew to love in Taking on the Dead. Seeking what she knows best, solace, she moves out on her own and tries to make sense of everything that has happened in the last couple of months and how to rebuild her relationships and her new life. There’s a new secret ability she has now that makes Kan a very special asset which was a great unforeseen twist that I’m excited about. What I love most about her character is her determination and loyalty to everyone around her, she’s not afraid to sacrifice herself for the well being of others and will stop at nothing to keep them safe. Kan can sometimes put a wall up and doesn’t let people in easily (which is totally acceptable during the zombie apocalypse), but she slowly brings that wall down and opens up to her friends as the story progresses.
I like my books with a little romantic element to them, even when you’re dealing with the undead, so I was thrilled to have a dash of romance thrown into the story. The best romances are the ones that develop through time and that’s why I’ve been a fan of Rudy and Kan’s relationship. Their chemistry is undeniable and while they’ve kept things platonic, you know they have feelings for each other. Rudy loves Kan and knows her better than she knows herself, he never treats her like a victim, knows how to give her space and supports her in all her choices. I love their friendship and how they make each other better people. I was a little worried about the “semi-love-triangle” that I saw developing in the last book between Rudy, Mac (Rudy’s friend) and Kan but she makes pretty clear who holds her heart putting my uneasiness to rest. I’ve been Team Rudy from the beginning and while he has a few secrets of his own his feelings for Kan are true. Just when I thought I’d get no smexiness from these two in this book things heat up and needless to say I wasn’t left wanting.
The supporting characters in Controlling the Dead are as well developed as the hero and heroine. Mac, Reece, Glinda and even Guido each bring a different dynamic to the story and add plenty of humor with their sarcasm and charm. It’s great to see their interactions and relationships, it brings a sense of normalcy in a world filled with famished (zombies) and chaos. My heart was broken when View Spoiler » Mac was shot and eventually died « Hide Spoiler, I wasn’t expecting that outcome and still need a little time to recover from it.
If I could give this book 5.5 stars I would, it’s that good. Since reading the first book in the series I’ve become a huge fan of the TV show The Walking Dead (not comparing) and find that it’s made me appreciate this kind of story even more. Annie Walls can easily hold the crown of zombie gore, she paints vivid scenes with her words that put you right into her world of the famished and putrid…I love her attention to detail. This story has everything that made me love Taking on the Dead and more! It’s dark and gritty with plenty of nail-biting action and heart, I said it before and I’ll say it again, dark urban fantasy at its finest. Controlling the Dead is an emotional roller coaster ride that draws you in from the first page…you won’t want to put it down and when you do you’ll be dying for the next installment (no pun intended)! Bravo Annie, you’ve done it again 😉