Anthony Puyo is an up and coming author who cut his teeth in the horror genre. I read his debut novel, The Compelled, last year. This novella takes place in the same place and the same time. A cataclysmic event has plagued the earth and no one knows what is happening. Some kind of illness or disease has started spreading that causes people to go completely insane and their only objective is ripping and tearing the flesh of everyone they see. Devin was mentioned early on in The Compelled and this is the story of what happened to him after he was separated from the group of survivors he was with.
He essentially finds himself kidnapped and at the mercy of a vigilante who wants to exact revenge on the boys he believes to be responsible for the rape and murder of his daughter. Rex wants Devin to help him figure out which of the three boys he has captured killed Martha. But as Devin slowly begins to realize, Rex is coming apart at the seems and not everything is what it seems. Devin is at the heart of this murder mystery and he needs to solve the crime before Rex kills him.
I loved The Compelled and this was a wonderful foray back into the heart of the post apocalyptic world Anthony Puyo has created. Appearances by characters the reader is already familiar with makes them feel like they are running into old friends. And this book stands on its own. This is a separate story happening at the same time as the big picture and you don’t have to have any knowledge of what has happened. The extra tidbits are more like easter eggs for long time fans. The only criticism I have for this book is there is a lot of slang and the book reads more like a tale told by someone you met on the street. I think the slang works for the dialogue because a majority of the characters are young adults. But I would’ve liked a shift to more traditional writing for the narrative portion.
I would strongly recommend both these books to any fans of survival horror. It is fast paced action, lots of gore, and the suspense makes you not want to put it down. I would caution for strong language and extreme gore and violence. I give this one a strong 4 out of 5.