Reviewed at http://www.mandikayereads.com/archives/2470 (8/31/12)Sophomore slump? Move along, nothing to see here.If anything, this one was better than the first.The world Alex and Darla live in is far bleaker than the world we were introduced to in Ashfall. Refugee camps filled with "inmates", gangs of cannibals, human slaves...And through it all, love remains the central focus. Love, not to be confused with romance. How does Mullins do it?One of the things I love about this trilogy is that it seems so plausible. If a situation like this actually happened, I'm pretty sure the world would devolve into cannibal gangs and towns behind walls and government "protected" refugee camps. It's depressing, but fascinating. The character development and world building captured my attention enough that I was actually sad when it was over because I wanted to stay in that world a little bit longer - even though it was a rather bleak world. Alex and Darla were my friends.