Marc and Dana review Infected: Undertow (Infected series, book 7) by Andrea Speed (Published by DSP Publications, November 11, 2014, 350 pages)
To read the review of Infected: Prey click here. To read the review of Infected: Bloodlines click here. To read the review of Infected: Life After Death click here. To read the review of Infected: Freefall click here. To read the review for Infected: Shift click here. To read the review for Infected: Lesser Evils click here.
Sequel to Infected: Lesser Evils
Infected: Book Seven
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
Now Roan is locked in a coma as the struggle between his human and werecat sides reaches a new extreme. All Dylan can do is sit, wait, and think.
Meanwhile, Roan’s assistant, Holden, wants to shed his old street life and his relationship with Scott, but he can’t seem to do either. Holden doesn’t want a relationship with Scott but finds himself drawn to him all the same, even if he can never fully reveal his past.
With Roan out of commission, Holden looks into the murder of an old friend. At the same time, Fiona takes on a case about underground death matches between infecteds—one with connections to the Church of the Divine Transformation.
Finally Roan wakes only to discover that his shifts have new consequences. His lion’s strength is growing, and he can’t hide from it any longer….
Marc – This is book 7 of this series, the second to last of the main book and I’ve read the last few books back-to-back. I really feel like this is one big, continuing story and that is probably why I was never able to stop. Whenever I had finished reading one book, I needed to take a peek at the next. Always told myself I would just read the first chapter to get a feeling for where the story was heading and I always ended up far deeper into the story. There is something addictive about Roan’s story. He might seem depressed and almost suicidal at times (understandably), but he has a good heart, dry, dark humor and the kind of charisma that binds so many weird, unique and interesting characters to him with unflinching loyalty.
The virus is evolving further, some of the developments really scary, and no one really knows what will happen next. There is no one else like him and even the doctors can only guess. But it is dangerous and while the virus can help Roan in unique ways to fight against the evil in this world, it is taking a great toll on the man.
Roan has been free-falling for a long time in a way and it seemed to me this book brings him to a cross-roads. There is an easy way out. No more pain, no more uncertainty, perhaps even Paris waiting for him with a cocky smile and open arms. Not even his closest friends and his partner are certain which decision he would make. Fearing the worst, but hoping for the best. They don’t want to lose him.
I really think Roan makes a conscious decision to go on here and while it (thankfully) doesn’t completely change his personality over night and he still puts himself in danger, I think for the first time there really is hope. Given that the next book is the last and the author is starting to wrap up things, it made me cautiously optimistic. Even though I hardly was able to imagine the end of Roan’s story without fire and blood and death.
The newest developments at the Church of Divine Transformation made me mad as hell and were heart-breaking. I’m an optimist by nature and it is not easy to face the evil humanity is capable of. Because even though this is fiction, I’m sure there would be people doing just these same horrific things if there were shifters in the world and there are people doing these horrible things to other people right now. It is sickening.
So I kind of want to imagine there are people like Roan out there, fighting the good fight, but then I feel guilty, because he has sacrificed so much. And the real-life heroes out there are also often sacrificing thier lives, health, their relationships and families.
In a way it is amazing that Dylan has been as patient and understanding and that he and Roan have found a kind of balance. I really hoped Roan would see how lucky he is.
Again, Holden is a major part of the book and taking on much more as Roan is fighting for his life – or deciding if he even wants to fight. He and Fiona make a good team and I really love Holden, his POV, his way to work on cases and can’t wait for Infected: Holden to be released 🙂
I love getting to know more about his vulnerable, private side and the thing he has going on with Scott is really interesting and seems to work in a weird way.
We also get more of our favorite hockey players and some blasts from the past and while this story can’t really stand on its own, it is an amazing continuation of the series. I’m sure no one would really want to start this series with book 7 anyway and no one should. I wouldn’t even start it with book 3 which a bunch of people do, because the first two books are an important foundation for Roan and helped me enormously to understand him.
If you have made it this far, you are almost there. Don’t stop now. Book 8 is just one click away ❤
9/10 Pots of Golde (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Dana – Like Infected: Bloodlines and Infected: Lesser Evils, the 7th book in the series is a one-part story, not really divided in half. From reading the blurb, I had assumed that Roan wouldn’t be present for most of the book due to what happened to him in book 6. However, about 15% into the story Roan wakes up in the hospital and business resumes as usual. While he was out, both Holden and Dylan accuse him of giving up, and even a vision of his younger self tells Roan that while he is in his coma. I found it funny. Throughout my reviews of the previous books, I mentioned how tensions between infecteds and humans were growing, and how Roan witnesses horrible crimes in both his job as a PI and liaison between the two groups of people. Despite how tough Roan is, I honestly wouldn’t have blamed him for wanting to walk away from it all.
While Roan is out, Holden and Fiona take on a few cases that Roan ends up helping with when he wakes up, The one that Holden takes is regarding a missing street hustler he used to know before he went to work for the escort agency. Investigating the street scene he once worked makes Holden see how much his life has changed since those days. Though he has a handful of clients left, his new job as a private investigator and his friends with benefit arrangement with a certain hockey player are light years away from where he used to be. It raises quite a few questions about the direction Holden wants his life to go.
Though this isn’t the last book of the series, I can see that the author is beginning to tie up some loose ends, and create closure for some side characters. The Church of the Divine Transformation is still causing problems in this story but takes on another new leader. Matt, from the first few books shows up. After a couple stints in rehab, he is looking to apologize for his earlier behavior. He is settled down in life, and though it might not be with the right person, it was nice to remember him with fondness and not the way he exited book 3. Randi, who was upset when her brother turned out to be an infected Roan couldn’t help in the way she wanted him too, also appears. It’s awkward, but hurt feelings and anger seem to have faded away.
There is a case that Roan takes halfway through the book that I really enjoyed. It didn’t revolve around the other problems going on, and I liked that it took the series back to its core, with Roan solving mysteries. His lion strain is still changing, but Roan seems like he really wants to start taking it easier, so I think he is evolving as well. Dylan and Roan’s relationship is also going strong. Roan still feels like Dylan should leave him, but the storms these two have weathered really make me see the depth of their love. With Roan always holding a piece of himself back, it’s not an apparent thing, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Once again, I will recommend this story and the series. The author did an excellent job creating this world where the characters are nutty but loyal. I felt like they were my friends too. The drama his high and the mysteries are great. It’s impossible to be bored with this series. I’m just sad that I am nearing the end.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars.
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)
In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men.
Viva la revolution!