Emily has survived the apocalypse but she’s far from safe. She’s alone, her only protection being her weapons, wits and the fence that keeps her from being eaten. Things change when a strange in-betweener appears at the fence. He’s not as feral as the rest and appears to have a message for Emily. Now she has to decide whether to risk leaving her hiding place and face what the world has become…
Nanites were meant to save humanity. These tiny machines were injected into people and they would fix anything from cancer to blocked arteries. When an update meant to save people from even worse conditions goes live, everything falls apart as nanites push humans through more than their bodies can handle. They’re turned into mindless feral beasts whose only purpose is to feed — the in-betweeners.
It’s been two years since the disaster happened. In-betweeners are fewer now, replaced by deaders who struggle just to move. Not even nanites can prolong death forever but it’s still a long way to go until the world is safe again. Emily has learned her own way of surviving but she has to re-evaluate everything when Sam appears. Sam’s definitely an in-betweener but seems to regain more control over himself than the others. He can even talk, to an extent.
Emily’s not fond of the idea of heading out into the world with a dangerous in-betweener but does she have a choice? This could be her only chance of finding people and after being alone for so long, it sounds like an offer she just can’t refuse.
The In-Betweener was an interesting and enjoyable first book of a five-part series Between Life and Death. Emily is the main character and we get to follow her not just in the present but in the past as well. We learn the story of how she got to where she is and that was a good way to get the reader to connect with her. She’s a strong character and I immediately liked her voice.
The apocalypse part of the story is fairly common with a “medical miracle” eventually leading into flesh and metal eating monsters, but fortunately that’s not really the focus of the book. The book focuses on what happens after the apocalypse and how people adapt to the changes in the world. I’ve read similar things before but this was very well written and the balance of action and story was just right so it was hard to put down the book. Emily was a great character to follow and I was rooting for her from the beginning.
The book isn’t very long and most of it comes from building the plot and the world, but it didn’t feel boring or slow to me. I would’ve enjoyed more glimpses into other PoVs but we might get those later in the series. Also because this is a series the ending of this book was a bit of a cliffhanger, most likely to drive you to read the second one. It got me interested but some people might be disappointed.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic YA. It’ll keep you entertained and most likely will give you the feels. It certainly did for me.