In this book, people are starting to disappear if they get too close to the Tennessee River, and the river is starting to flood so it’s reaching closer and closer to where all the people are. Unlike the first two books in the trilogy, which were primarily ghost stories, this book turns into a full-fledged zombie story with zombies sloshing through flooded downtown Chattanooga. I think this is the first zombie book I’ve ever read, so I couldn’t begin to say whether it’s derivative or original, but I enjoyed it.
Actually, as far as the meat of this story went, I thought it was the best of the three stories in the series. It kept me guessing and anxious to keep reading and see what would happen next. It had some very mild creepiness at about the same level as the first book, but nothing major. Eden’s life is about as unstructured and aimless as ever, especially considering she seems to be at least 25, has no job, and is still living with her adoptive parents, but she does seem to have a few nebulous plans for the future this time around and even has plans to move out on her own.
My main complaint about this book was the ending. The main story was wrapped up and explained reasonably well, but the ending seemed abrupt. There’s no discussion of how the general population is handling recent events, no follow up with the other supporting characters in the story to see how they’re doing, and no real sense of closure for Eden. There’s a plot thread regarding Eden that has run through all three of the books, and is brought up many times and seems to be a major source of consternation for Eden, but it too is left without any closure at the end. Since I felt like the previous two books were wrapped up pretty well and with more detail, I had higher hopes that the final book in the series would be wrapped up more nicely. There’s a Q&A on the author’s Goodreads page indicating that she “didn’t have any more adventures planned – and the last two books sold very poorly”, so there probably won’t be any more books in this series.
But, as with the other two books, I enjoyed reading this and I had trouble putting it down. I don’t have any more books by Cherie Priest on my To-Be-Read list, but I would definitely be willing to give some of her other stuff a try sometime in the distant future.