Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Review: PODs

Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure

So I heard about this book last year at BEA.  Or rather I saw the bookmark and was like 'Huh that girl looks like Hayden Panettiere' and grabbed one up to investigate.  It was only later, after reading Concilium, that I found out the connection between the two (same author). 

The book is, appropriately enough, broken up into different 'parts'.  We see before Eva enters the POD (Populace Obliteration Defense...yeah that sounds like something the government would name the project meant to protect against an Extinction Level Event), the year or so she's inside the POD, and then everything after.  Its an interesting way to view Eva's evolution as in some ways she remains the same and in others she changes quite a bit.

Throughout the book I wanted a happy end for Eva.  She kind of got a shaft deal quite frankly.  Not just her, everyone in the PODs seemed to get a shaft deal and some dealt better than others (Josh, you suck).  At first Eva is closed off.  Not so much because she doesn't want to interact, but rather she is still in shell shock from the entire ordeal.  Slowly she opens up, though she's set rules for herself in hopes that it will keep her from feeling anymore pain.

David the POD he's definitely different.  He's constantly smiling or chuckling at something Eva does or says, doesn't really let how truly upset he was show (unlike the others).  After the year in the POD, due to other circumstances, he's harder, quieter and more pessimistic.  Eva by contrast is desperately holding onto whatever she can to get through the days.  I do admit to becoming a bit annoyed with them both at this point; granted they both bring up good points about why they need to be more rational, but in the end they both take major risks to be together.

It makes sense, from a psychological standpoint.  They found a sense of normalcy with each other, a way to fight back the tide of depression and so because of spending so much time together they became dependent on each other.  Perfectly logical.  However its stressed its because they love each other and can't bare to be apart.  I had to bite my inner cheek to keep from shouting.

Despite this being part of a series (there is a second book due out, Infected), the ending is satisfying, but leaves enough questions to bespeak another book (for one thing, where did the virus come from exactly? how many people survived it? How many people mutated?).  I'm interested to see where Pickett goes with David and Eva now, plus hey I'm always down for some governmental conspiracy!