by Annie Walls
Series: Famished Trilogy #1
Genres: Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
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Life for Kansas was perfect until the day the world changed. She has been hiding out for four years in solitude. It's the only way to survive. The only way not to draw the living dead. Helping a small group of people, she learns the new world might not be what she assumes. Venturing out of her refuge and comfort zone, she meets Rudy, who helps her find a greater purpose. She realizes that the world has moved on without her. Only it's not what she expects. Her knowledge of the living dead grows and only makes her more curious as humanity continues to hang on by a thread. While on her search for answers she finds comfort in new friendships and love, but her past seems as if it will haunt her forever. Kansas takes it upon herself to help other survivors, which would be easy if the famished were the only obstacles.In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, this adult dark fantasy is emotional as much as it is horrifyingly gripping.
When I saw the cover of Taking on the Dead, I was immediately drawn to it. The chick is walking down a rural road carrying a huge knife and I immediately had to read the synopsis. Its book one of the Famished Trilogy and I got goosebumps! Throw in the living dead, a quest for answers and a mysterious guy and I was totally sold. I am delighted to inform you that Taking on the Dead delivered an action packed post-apocalyptic tale that has left me anxious for book two. Walls paints a beautiful picture of both the horrors and pleasures in a zombie infested world. Her characters came to life, and I found myself invested in their stories.
Kansas City Sunshine Moore (yep that is the protagonist name and I love it..she goes by Kan) has been on her own for over four years, living in a shelter below her old homestead. She is a survivalist, thanks to skills her father taught her, and old books from his library. When she encounters a set of humans being attacked her life changes. Determined to find answers she begins a journey towards one of the military compounds. On the way she is attacked by a horde of zombies and saved by a guitar playing, muscle ripped smexy man named Rudy. *swoons* They share stories and begin traveling together. The tale that unfolds was horrifying, suspenseful, and filled with twists. It kept me turning the pages late into the night.
I love the characters Walls introduces us to; each is unique and at times mysterious but so fleshed out that you immediately find yourself connected to them. Kan is tough as nails, fearless, brave, snarky and totally kick-ass in the zombie killing department. She moves like a stealth ninja in her torn jeans, boots and dreadlocks. There is also a vulnerable side to her. She has been alone for years, and the first humans she has contact with betray her. Despite this she is eager for companionship and thirsty for knowledge. She is independent, sensitive and wants to make a difference. I adored her! Rudy *swoons*He is hot, funny, shy, eye candy to the ladies and feared and respected by the men. He has secrets, and you just want to pry his soul open and expose them. He is sexy and has heart of gold. He does the right thing, the noble thing, even when every instinct in him is screaming crush and destroy. The secondary characters are developed, original and fascinating. While I did not adore them all, I was certainly invested in all of them. There is an underlying romance, that is not fully developed. There is also a secondary romance where the gentlemen really knows he does not stand a chance, but cannot help caring anyway. While it reeks of a triangle, take heart it really isn’t the battle was won long ago..but living gets in the way and who really knows what will go down in the end..GRR! The good news is that whatever happens romantically will develop slowly and naturally. Well as natural as it can in a zombie infested post-apocalyptic world. One thing I liked was that the romance was really a side story to Kan’s quest for answers and the mission they decide to undertake.
This is a dark, gritty new world and the world building was superb. While, we did not completely get a sense of the why the living dead took over, we do know who is responsible. There is so much going on in this novel, as we travel with Kan and learn new pieces of information about what’s happened over the past four years. The tiny cities, scavengers, and the strange government compounds that seem to be controlling zombies all created suspense. Eep! The zombies are teeth-gnashing, flesh-dropping and hungry!!! I loved all the dark, gory details Walls provided. As Kan, Rudy and their friends join together to uncover secrets I found myself completely immersed in the tale. The lines of reality blurred and this world and its characters became real to me. I laughed, I cried, I yelled, and caught that high that only a good tale can bring. Just when I thought they were safe, something else would happen! The non-stop action had my heart racing. I cannot wait for the next installment in this trilogy.
For Zombie and post-apocalyptic fans, Taking on the Dead is a must read. Not sure if you love the dead? Then consider reading this for the characters, the suspense and the mystery. This is a perfect fall read, and the perfect cleansing from all those zombie impostor books you read this summer!! Controlling the Dead is the next book in this trilogy and Living with the Dead is the final book. At this time there is no information on their release dates.