Lucy King has just been thrust into a world where everyone around her is dying. Someone has let loose a deadly virus on the entire world that started off by killing the dogs. One day she got up and all of the dogs were just gone. At that point some of the elderly and very young children were getting sick with flu-like symptoms, but death came quickly. Then everyone else started dying. People were just dropping left and right. The bad thing is that all of the chaos starts on the day that Lucy and her family are supposed to be going on a vacation given to her dad, who is a scientist. He had been working on some major project for a long time and his job was now giving them a vacation. They had their vaccinations and their bags were ready to go out somewhere close to Madagascar. But that day Lucy had forgotten her homework at the high school in her locker and Ethan, her big brother, had to drive her back real quick. When she gets there though the school is on lock down. Once she is in, she can't get back out to her brother. What she sees inside will forever change her. There are bodies in the hallway and classrooms of fallen classmates and teachers, and everyone is in the auditorium awaiting instructions from their dictator principal. Even though death comes quickly to those falling ill, it is gruesome with vomiting and bleeding from their eyes, nose, and mouth. Many families outside of the school have been wiped out at this point. And now Lucy is stuck here. What she doesn't know? It is safer inside the locked down school than outside where looting and illegal activities have started. The only thing she must deal with inside is the crazy principal that is now showing his true colors. Lucy is determined to get out and to her family. But she will need the help and support of her friends, Salem and Grant. That is, if they live long enough to get out.
"Have you thought that maybe we're just taking longer...to die."
If someone actually let loose such a virus on the Earth, I would imagine things would go something like this should it be at a time when school was in session. It is a rather graphic book in some ways, but it shows a side to humanity that is rarely seen, especially where I live in the United States. War, chaos, and death is not familiar to many areas around the globe. A virus that wipes out humanity this fast would create a panic unlike any we had ever seen. Lucy King has to live through some absolutely horrifying circumstances during this book. The reality of nothing being safe to eat or drink anymore if it isn't packaged, is a harsh reality indeed. They cannot even use the toilets because they are overflowing with contaminated water. Everything is poisoned with the virus: the crops, the water, the people. Even when they do get out of the school, almost everyone is dead. The few that are alive do what they must to survive, and they are dangerous. The real surprise comes when Lucy learns more about the time frame of the virus and how her family is more connected to it than she knows. This nightmare could be even worse than what is going on outside.
Make sure you check out book 2!! You want answers? You will definitely get some!
*images via Shelbi Wescott
*quote via Shelbi Wescott