Three siblings – Harlow the eldest (amazing guitarist), Vanessa the youngest (Olympic-bound gymnast) and….Charlotte the middle sibling (who is…average).
(okay, technically she’s been crushing on Dean for ages but he’s recently started going out with Harlow so there goes that hobby for Charlotte).
During Vanessa’s latest gym meet, a strange person interrupts it. They seem erratic, wild and there’s something about their eyes.
It’s only when the girls lose their parents that they fully realize what has happened. The Crimson.
The Crimson is a slow-acting zombie-ish disease spread by eye-contact.
The three sisters have lost nearly everyone they’ve ever known but they still have each other.
Harlow is now a great military leader, Vanessa is now the Chosen One and Charlotte is still Charlotte. It sucks but Charlotte gets it.
But then one day, their “safe” settlement is raided by some smarter-than-average zombies who are seeking the Chosen One.
When Dean’s life is threatened, Charlotte knows she couldn’t just stand by.
So she volunteers herself as “the Chosen One” to buy her younger sister time and save her friends and family. Kidnapped and alone, Charlotte must rely on herself – for the first time in her life – and continue this act for as long as possible.
I thought this one worked rather well.
I did notice that folks are saying that this book tries to do too much (zombies, seafaring adventures, plague, varying degrees of infection, and “chosen one”) but I thought it was a unique take on the old tropes.
I did enjoy the character Charlotte and how struggle for her identity amongst her perfect siblings.
I also loved the concept of the “un-chosen” – someone who very clearly isn’t MEANT to save the world but pulls herself up from her bootstraps and does it anyway (can we please have more books like that??)
I do think the ending felt a bit too quick and the logic was a smidge eye-rollingly-convenient for me.
Overall, this one worked pretty dang well!
With thanks to Netgalley, the author and Katherine Tegen Books for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review