Love and Decay Volume 4 (Episodes 5-8, Season 3) by Rachel Higginson

This volume is still on sale for 99 cents for some reason — I highly recommend snatching it up for that price, b/c it’s not going to last!!

22209220Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

Reagan was supposed to take it easy after an epic battle with Feeders left her injured and concussed. Instead, she wakes up to find herself trapped in the middle of nowhere, held hostage by Kane.

And she’s not alone. Kane kidnapped Page as well, in order to ensure Reagan is on her best behavior.

With little hope that the Parkers will be able to find them, Reagan must face her kidnapper and his crazy mother alone. Despair sets in and then turns to desperation when Kane’s confusing behavior calls to some secret part of her. Not only does she have to protect Page from the Allen family, but now her own heart, as well.

Kane promises they are safe, even if they are isolated. But is anyone truly safe during a Zombie Apocalypse?

When Feeders swarm around Kane’s hidden bungalow, Reagan joins forces with him so that they can all live another day.

Can everyone survive unscathed? Can Reagan fight alongside Kane, get to know him at a deeper level and face the demons of her heart without straying from Hendrix? Or will Kane find a way to slide in between the happy couple and follow through with his own agenda?

After all, isn’t all fair in love, war and the end of the world?

Love and Decay, Volume Four, is a compilation of Episodes Five through Eight in Season Two of Love and Decay. It is a Dystopian Romance Novella Series about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

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My Review:
4 stars — This was a pure up and down volume. I felt more frustrated than ever before in a few of these episodes, and at the same time it contained my favourite episode of season 2 so far. The plot twists are beyond compare, and we had some great character introspection and truly heart wrenching moments. I appreciated that a few of these episodes were less formulaic, giving us something fresh to read. But on the other hand, I found myself starting to detach from our heroine….though that could be just my personal taste thing. So yeah. Total rollercoaster. I might take a break and come back to this season with fresher eyes.

Episode 5:
4 stars — Hmmm…. I get the vulnerability. I get the 3 dimensions. But I’m still not team Kane. He may yet redeem himself, his soul may be saved, but this is not about him. This is about me and my ability to hold a grudge and to be unforgiving. And quite honestly, he’s still kind of a psycho. I mean, it’s not that I don’t get HOW he got to be the way he is, and that story with his father was a perfect example. But Tyler and Miller had the same father, and somehow they retained some moral fortitude despite their upbringing. So maybe he’s too weak for me then? I don’t know. All I know is that I hate that I can’t see what my friends see in him. I just find myself inevitably unswayed (even if my heart tugs occasionally). I am a heartless b*tch.

OK, moving on. I really enjoyed that this episode didn’t follow the formula of so many of the previous episodes. I get we’re in a zombie apocalypse, but it’s nice to go an episode where that’s not the crisis we face. And despite my non-team Kane-ness, I do appreciate learning more about him and trying to see into why he’s doing what he’s doing. Doesn’t mean I’m going to like it, and doesn’t mean I’m going to quite empathize with Reagan’s soft heart (even though prior to this I thought I had a soft heart — but apparently it’s reserved for only certain types of people). In the end my heart was with Page….seriously, it’s amazing how resilient children can be sometimes. I’m worried about what this is going to do to her — what opinions she’s going to form and attachments she might make. She’ll probably surprise me.

Strangely enough, Linley probably creeps me out the most. It’s hard to watch someone proselytize, to truly believe that the horrible things Matthias is doing is the only right and true way. To see her children as possessions.

Episode 6:
5 stars — Holy *BEEP*!!! That was an awful lot of crying for one episode. And I mean, my crying ran the gamut of tearing up over Kane’s revelations near the beginning of the episode, to full on bawling where my hubby had to come comfort me (even though the series has actually been partially ruined for me and I knew certain things wouldn’t come to fruition). I need a breather….seriously.

Still not team Kane, though I did have a lengthy and involved discussion about this with my husband, and he has multiple theories as to why — my favourite being that I am a hipster, and I tend to resist the popular opinions. It’s true, I will admit it. And it’s not always that he’s a psycho…which, despite the advances made on his character in this episode, I’m not going to forget. The main reason is the same reason I wasn’t team Jacob. There’s just no real chemistry there for me. It feels forced and based off of other things that do not make a good relationship. *shrugs* All of this is really irrelevant to my review, but it was fun to think about and analyze.

So my theories on Kane’s childhood were definitely confirmed, and I loved the insight we got — I really did feel for him and the little boy that he once was. And I thought the comparison’s to Miller’s character were interesting and made a whole lot of sense. So he definitely tugged MAJORLY on my heartstrings in this episode.

I won’t get into the other development in this episode so as to avoid spoilers — but I really didn’t see that one coming and the whole situation had my heart feeling like Ms. Higginson was squeezing it in the palm of her hand….so much devastation. Really interested to see where this is going to go, even though I know the end result.

This has been by FAR my favourite episode of the season so far. It had everything and really delved into the emotional writing that Ms. Higginson does so well, and has drawn me to her time and time again.

Episode 7:
3.5 stars — *sigh* I felt detached from this episode. Maybe the previous one just took it all out of me? Maybe I just don’t get Reagan, and find I can’t empathize with her internal meanderings? I honestly don’t get what she feels. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I agree with her decision to stand up for Kane’s life…but that’s partly b/c it would feel like cold blood murder if he wasn’t fighting back. But all this stuff with the relationships….I don’t know. It’s just not capturing my interest, and I’m finding it more annoying than usual. I wasn’t all happy with how Hendrix handled things either, but it was consistent with his character at least. I think it’s just been building up so much, and it feels like forced drama. I think I’m just not in the right mood for it… I hope this doesn’t become a trend in my mind, otherwise maybe I need to take a break.

The scientists were an intriguing development! I’m interested to see where that takes us at least….

Episode 8:
4 stars — I forgot it was going to be a Tyler episode, and given my feelings after the last episode, I think this one could not have been timed more perfectly for me. I find Tyler to be a really unique character, and I’m intrigued by what she’s been through, and how that’s shaped her. She really does have a cynical and jaded bent to her, but she also cares very deeply.

I’m a little bit leery of the relationship developments, not the least of which because of some of the spoilers I’m aware of. In some ways I wish we could have a bit more of Tyler, just to see how things play out.

All in all a solid episode, and one I was desperately needing — not too crazy action wise, more of a character development plot….and Ms. Higginson knows how to write great characters.


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