Controlling the Dead by Annie Walls

November 11th, 2013 kimbacaffeinate Review 48 Comments

11th Nov
Controlling the Dead by Annie Walls
Controlling the Dead
by Annie Walls
Genres: Dystopian
Source: Author
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

Last year Annie Walls blew me away with her post-apocalyptic zombie tale Taking on the Dead. The first in the Famished Trilogy it earned a top spot on my Adult Top-Ten Reads for 2013. As you can imagine, I was drooling in anticipation of Controlling the Dead. My friends, it was well worth the wait. Walls has created a fascinating world with characters that have become family. We see story advancement and character development as Walls holds are emotions captive. Mini review: engaging, action-packed and heart-wrenching.

This review is spoiler free for those who have read Taking on the Dead. The tale jumps straight back into the story, and it took me a while to acclimate myself. It really needed a recap and I actually went back and read the last few chapters of book one and my own review after reading the first few pages of Controlling the Dead. I do not recommend reading this series out of order.

The tale picks up with Kansas pretty damaged after the events that transpired in book one. She is withdrawn; constantly moving, and planning. The rest of our merry team is worried about her. The team is working to uncover answers, and still planning to save more lives from the compounds. The tale that unfolds was action-packed, with character and plot development. Walls pulled me in and held me till the end.

Kansas “Kan” is a complicated, kick-ass character who has endured more crap in her lifetime then any soul should have to bear. She is driven, unmerciful at times and so compassionate at others that your heart bleeds for her. Mac and Rudy are her love interests, and I feared this little triangle would continue. Mac and Rudy are best friends, and it’s clear they respect and admire each other making things more complicated. Despite how messed up she is, it is clear where her heart lies. Thankfully she lets them know and we could all move forward.  Rudy is complex, caring and damaged himself.  Max is sweet, and dangerous and dependable. One of the things I adored about the romance is that Walls allowed it to build slowly from friendship, trust and respect. We felt the sexual tension, and experienced the dance as we saw their feelings emerge from their actions and little nuances. The cast of secondary characters are a motley crew, and Walls took the time to develop them. She gave them each a unique voice and made them an integral part of the tale. The results paid off, as I found myself attached to all of them. I suffered, shared in their joy and fears and had my heart ripped open and left to bleed when we suffered lost. She gave us characters to loathe and also introduced us to some new characters. Mago a voodoo man and his gifted daughter intrigued me.

Controlling the Dead offers a solid, action packed middle book that kept me on edge, and left me drooling for the final book of this trilogy. We had intense scenes, zombie mayhem,  and even an interesting twist regarding Kan and the walking dead. There is conflict; secrets are revealed, and some questions are finally answered. She weaves in more aspects of the world, increasing the suspense.  The closer we got to answers, the more questions arise. *Gah, it was nail-biting* The story twists and turns with moments of elation and devastation. Walls doesn’t hold back, and no one is safe as she rips us apart with climatic scenes and unexpected twists. She balances the dark and the light, the bloody gore and the laughter keeping the reader completely enthralled.  This book is more than a zombie apocalyptic world, the characters breathe life into it making it an epic tale of survival. The ending gives us hope and leaves us screaming for more.

Fans of the character driven, post-apocalyptic worlds need to read the Famished Trilogy. Those who loved Taking on the Dead, need to grab their copy of Controlling the Dead stat, you will not be disappointed. The final book Living with the Dead does not have an expected release date at the time of this review. *Annie Walls don’t make me wait. That is all.*

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She's a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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48 Responses to “Controlling the Dead by Annie Walls”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Melanie there was a little triangle in book one, but that is all cleared up in this installment. I love strong caring MC’s too.

  1. Tanja

    There is that feeling when you wait for the sequel for so long and then it turns out it was worth every single second of the wait. I really love the sound of this one and I’m so glad you enjoyed. Too bad for that love triangle 🙁 Great review, Kim 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…A Shadow of Light by Bella ForrestMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Tanja, there was a little triangle in book one, but in this book it is cleared up completely. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehehe..yes she better be writing right now and not basking in all of these glowing reviews! LOL

  2. Mary

    While this does sound super-awesome, I think I’m going to have to wait for the third one. I’ve gotten terrible about actually finishing trilogies so I’m trying my hand at binge-reading. So far, it’s going well. And this one, with its not-sucky middle, sounds like one I’m going to have to binge!
    Mary recently posted…ThanksVember: Giveaway of Awesome, Part IIMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I cannot binge series read, I get burned out, skim and race to the end..I have never tried a trilogy. I cannot tell you how many trilogies and series I start and don’t finish. I look at it this way..if I am not dying to read it on release day, I just let it go.

  3. Jenny

    “It really needed a recap and I actually went back and read the last few chapters of book one and my own review after reading the first few pages of Controlling the Dead.”

    That’s exactly why I usually put off reading sequels for a while Kim, I fear being confused (even though the longer I wait, the less I remember which only makes the confusion worse – a vicious cycle 😉 Glad that even with the need for a recap you still loved this book, and I’m so glad that the love triangle is resolved and she lets everyone know her feelings. Fantastic review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thankfully reading those last few chapters of book one brought all the minor details back.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Taking on the Dead was a tour read for me last year and it ended up making my top ten list for 2012. Amazing 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      you are welcome *hands you a giant Monster Mean Bean* now go write Living with the Dead. hehehe

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Kan is remarkable, one of the strongest female characters I have had the pleasure to read about.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo happy dance. I cannot wait to see what you think of Kansas and the gang:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Taking on the Dead earned five coffee cups and made my top ten for 2012 Adult reads. Amazing series, not flawless but the characters and world will just suck you in.

  4. Melissa (Books and Things)

    SWEET! I was wondering if the next one would sound as good as the first. Oh so pushing that first one up the wishlist and adding this one.

    Btw, you aren’t the only one who has to go back and reread their own review. Sometimes it helps jog the memories. 🙂
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…I am Malala by Malala YousafzaiMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      book one Taking on the Dead made my top ten reads for 2012. The characters are just amazing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      the first book Taking on the Dead was one of my top ten adult reads last year.

  5. Christy

    Duuuude, I was so ready to read this in October, I even kept checking for it after every book I finished. Now I have to wait until I’m finished with review books again. -sigh- But I’m so glad you liked it!! I can’t wait to get to it.
    Christy recently posted…Finders Keepers by Nicole WilliamsMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Duuuude I totally din’t have time to read this….I am booked solid but man I couldn’t wait!

  6. laura thomas

    I felt the same way you did when Annie gave me the ARC for Taking on the Dead.It was killer and Rudy and Kansas are awesome. I ranked Kansas in my top five kick ass chicks! I recently reviewed CTD and it’s even more mind blowing. Since I wrote my review I was free to read others and it looks she nailed it. We all say similar things and my emotions were ripped this and that way with this one.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Candace the characters especially Kansas make this trilogy rock.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      the first book Taking on the Dead was outstanding and made my top 10. You will love Kansas 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      the first book Taking on the Dead, blew my mind and made my top ten last year.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Lauren, I read Taking on the Dead for a tour last year and it blew my ever loving mind!! You will love this series.