It's a generation after The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and Mary's daughter Gabry is now a teenager herself. Mary was frustratingly focused on her own romantic entanglements in the last book--but somehow, Gabry is so.much.worse. Every single chapter, she manages to make an even stupider decision based on absolutely nothing but her desire for some random dude. Not only is she incapable of complex thought, but she's continually freezing in fear or stumbling and falling. For example: Her True Love is dying of a zombie bite beyond the fence. Gabry risks her life to visit him one last time. She freezes up when she sees the zombies, then falls down and is only saved by some hot stranger. She leaves him behind and visits her True Love. Although she knows he's dying, she refuses to kill him, even though that would prevent him from rising as a zombie. Then she asks the hot stranger to help her return in a few days so she can visit him *again*. Apparently enthralled by her (for what? her impressive combat skills, courage, or smarts?), Hot Stranger agrees. So a few days later, Gabry once again climbs over the fence, once again
freezes and falls over when confronted by a zombie, and is once again saved by the Hot Stranger. And the worst part is? She does all this even though she's supposed to be at the beach right then, clubbing zombies. She's literally the town's only defense against the zombies washing up from the ocean, and she chooses to go wandering in the woods (TWICE) at the exact time of day that they wash up, without warning anyone or thinking that perhaps she should choose a different time to go mooning at her True Love. And what a surprise, her absence means the town is overrun with zombies. SO DUMB OMG OMG. Repeat this kind of dumb, cowardly, selfish decision making over and over. By the end, I just wanted Gabry dead.
I was excited by the series concept and the first few chapters of the first book--Ryan certainly knows how to write horror--but the characters are just too awful to read. I think I'll skip the third one. At the rate Ryan's heroines are going, the third girl will just lie down and cry the first time she sees a zombie.