The Becoming: Ground Zero by Jessica Meigs has officially hooked me into the trilogy. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the second book is the deciding factor in whether or not I keep reading a series. In the case of Ground Zero, Meigs manage to keep me interested in The Becoming saga, but I didn’t think the second installment was as action-packed as the first one. But, what it lacks in gore, it makes up for in suspense and drama…and Meigs kills off some of her characters!!
In The Becoming, Meigs introduced readers to the Michaluk Virus which causes people go into a violent rage, attacking and eating the non-infected; worse yet, they reanimate after death. A group of survivors formed a group with so many personality conflicts, it wasn’t clear if they would kill each other or not, before the infected reached them. We were left with them barely staying ahead of the infected hordes, and nursing injuries.
Ground Zero begins several months after the first book ended. The survivors (Ethan, Cade, Brandt, Nikola, Remy, Theo and Gray) have managed to stay together in a group, constantly moving away from the infected. A mysterious woman named Avi has been tracking their movements. Avi claims that Ethan’s group has become something of an urban legend, rescuing other survivors from trapped situations. She requests their help in escorting her back into Atlanta, so she can retrieve some information from the CDC. This creates yet another rift in the group; they all agree it would be a suicide mission, but some of them are willing to throw their lives away if it might mean finding a cure.
While the book developed the characters further, and gave their various relationships more depth, this didn’t leave much room for scenes with the infected. Most of the action was the group narrowly avoiding being overwhelmed…over and over. If you didn’t read the first novel, I don’t think the storyline line in Ground Zero will make much of an impression. If you have read The Becoming, then you might appreciate the insight on the conflicts between the survivors. Basically, everyone is frustrated with how shitty their living conditions have become, and they keep taking it out on each other.
Oh, and the infected are becoming better hunters…
Meigs did build up to an incredible ending, but ended with a HUGE cliff-hanger, throwing in some new characters in the very last pages. So, I am definitely reading the last book in the series. In the meantime, I will be reading The Becoming: Brothers In Arms, a background story about the brothers, Theo and Gray.
If you haven’t begun this series yet, what the hell are you waiting for?!