The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2)
by Megan Crewe
Published February 12, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
First, the virus took Kaelyn’s friends. Then, her family. Now it’s taken away her home.
But she can't look back—the life she once had is gone forever.
A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn’s small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. No one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father's abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they encounter a world beyond recognition. It’s not only the “friendly flu” that’s a killer—there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. How much will Kaelyn risk for an unproven cure, when the search could either destroy those she loves or save the human race?
Megan Crewe's second volume in the Fallen World trilogy is an action-packed journey that explores the resilience of friendship, the ache of lost love, and Kaelyn’s enduring hope in the face of the sacrifices she must make to stay alive.
My Thoughts: The Lives we Lost is the second book in The Fallen World Series and picks up where book one leaves off. Kaelyn and her friends live at ground zero, a small Canadian island that has been quarantined as a result of the "friendly flu virus," a virus that is deadly and has no cure. Kaelyn has lost family, friends, and loved ones as a result of the virus, and has somehow manged to be one of the only ones who survived a less potent strain of it, leaving her immune. Her little cousin Meredith is also immune after contracting the flu and being treated with some of Kaelyn's blood. Cut off from the outside world, they assume that their island is the only place that has been devastated by the illness, but when her best friend Leo returns to the island after making his way there from New York, they soon find out that the the virus has spread world wide and everything is in a state of total chaos.
It is Kaelyn's 17th birthday. Not knowing where to go from here or what to do next, she is going through some of her father's things when she discovers a key, a key that was missed before, a key that just happens to be to his lab. She sneaks into the lab and discovers her father's journal and a vaccine that he has been working on, a vaccine that he had tested on himself before he died. Kaelyn know she has to get the vaccine to someone who can replicate it and make enough to treat everyone left alive, putting a stop to the virus. Not willing to let her go alone, her boyfriend Gavin insists on going with her, while the others stay behind on the island. Before they are able to leave a military strike by some rogue soldiers forces all of them to evacuate sooner than anticipated in order to save their lives. Warned and rescued by one the soldiers that deserted this rogue group, Tobias, they make plans to together travel towards Ottawa, to find someone who can replicate the vaccine.
This is their story, the story of their journey in a world ravaged by illness where people are just trying to survive by any means possible. Not only do they have to stay away from those who are sick, they also have to constantly face the threat of danger from those who want what they have and are willing to take it by any means necessary. They meet friend and foe along the way, and face some of the hardest choices that they have ever had to make in the process of the journey, finding themselves hunted by those who say they want to help, not knowing who they can trust. When illness threatens one of their own, they are faced with a whole other set of trials, which tests their character and their resolve. Can they find help before it's too late, not only for the world, but also for one of their own?
I enjoyed this novel. The concept and premise of the story, while not unique, is still very intriguing and sobering, as it is easy to foresee something like this happening for real, especially since those contracting the virus don't turn into zombies, which leaves this fictional novel having more of a nonfictional feel to it. I like Kaelyn's character. She is a strong heroine and truly cares about those she's with, knows, and loves, and also those she has never met, all of whom she is trying to save. She and Gavin are in a relationship, as are Leo and Tessa. Leo is Kaelyn's best friend, who she loves dearly, but also wonders if those feelings are all just rooted in friendship, and she's not the only one who is wondering this. Two new characters are introduced into their close-knit group in this installment, Tobias and Justin, who is young and a bit of a loose cannon. There is not a lot of closure on anything in this installment, but more of a building up to the third book. I did like it, but it does still leaves you with some really "I need to know what's going to happen" type of questions. We get a glimpse of Kaeyln's brother Drew, but hopefully he will play a bigger role in the next book. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, though not a killer one, but more of a hopeful, rooting for the best type of situation.
One of the things I found intriguing was the title itself. At face value, you would just think it centers around all who have died because of the virus. Actually, Kaelyn is pondering upon the past, about how everything has changed, and how no matter what they do, things will never be the same again. The lives they once knew that were happy, carefree, and normal, no longer exist......becoming the lives they lost. I thought that was a very creative concept. This apocalyptic novel also has a dystopian feel, along with some romance, and some intense situations. If you enjoy this type of novel, then The Fallen World series series is something you might want to check out.
About the Author: Megan Crewe is a Canadian young adult author. Her apocalyptic YA nove
l The Way We Fall, the first in the Fallen World trilogy, came out in January 2012 from Disney-Hyperion.