“Undaunted” by Kat Falls is the sequel to “Inhuman,” published in 2013. For those who read “Inhuman” when it first came out, it’s time to pick it up and read it again, although it’s also certainly possible to read and really enjoy this sequel without remembering everything from the first book.
Lane, the main character, is feisty and determined and a bit foolhardy. At the start of the story, she posts a video she created from her adventures in the first book and spreads it on social media. The video does not have the effect she had hoped for — it terrifies the people who see the “manimals,” the DNA altered humans who caught the Ferae virus and mutated into human-animal combinations. The disease eventually leads to madness and death, and in the first book, one of Lane’s romantic interests, Rafe, is infected while saving her life.
After Lane posts the video, she is leaving with her father to go across the wall, a hundreds-feet tall barrier built by the company that created the virus, and which separates the US along the Mississippi River. The outpost is Arsenal Island, near Moline, where her father wants to live. There is a community there of manimals and humans who survive there and live together.
The action is fabulous from practically the first page. Lane is a wonderful main character, and readers will enjoy watching her defend orphans; stand up to the arrogant and cruel woman, the Chairman, who created the virus and rules ruthlessly and seemingly without any limitations on her power; renew her friendship with Everson, the Chairman’s son; find Rafe, who has been infected with tiger DNA; rescue a human lioness from an underground lab; and in the end, basically, save the world.
Kat Falls is a fabulous writer, and the dialogue and the action are seamless. It’s really hard to put the book down once you start, because there is so much action, so many twists and turns, and so much danger and uncertainty throughout the story that it’s a one-sitting read. Plan ahead.
Falls manages to grab the readers, and her writing will evoke many different emotions from amusement to sympathy and empathy. It’s interesting that the first book, which includes “the wall,” was published in 2013, before talk of walls became political. However “Undaunted,” with its wall keeping out those who are different, and the Chairman who wants to keep the human race pure and undiluted, is all too real for anyone who reads the paper or listens to news.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, Scholastic, for review purposes.