Survivor (Alone #2)

Survivor (Alone #2)

4.3 8
by James Phelan

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At the end of the world, it's hard to trust anyone—even yourself.

Jesse and a ragged band of survivors crawl through the wreckage of New York City. They escaped the Chasers—for now. But the infected zombie freaks are getting bolder, stronger. So when they begin to see signs of human life, they can't believe their luck. Now they're the chasers, looking


At the end of the world, it's hard to trust anyone—even yourself.

Jesse and a ragged band of survivors crawl through the wreckage of New York City. They escaped the Chasers—for now. But the infected zombie freaks are getting bolder, stronger. So when they begin to see signs of human life, they can't believe their luck. Now they're the chasers, looking for someone to tell them the worst vacation ever is over. Of course, luck can be good and bad. And the enemy could be closer than your reflection in the mirror. . .

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Jesse's hunting for survivors, but he's got husks on his heels. Twelve days after the attack on New York City that transformed the population into shells with an unquenchable thirst, 16-year-old Jesse starts casing the city to find Felicity, a young woman whose taped message Jesse has discovered. While searching, Jesse runs into soldiers who are researching the plague, and he finds Rachel, a dedicated zoo intern caring for the Central Park animals, and Caleb, a former jock holed up in a bookstore. Jesse's goal of bringing all the survivors together falls apart when military drones begin targeting survivors and Chasers alike, and one of his new companions is caught in the crossfire. With this second in the Alone series, Phelan fails to address the problem of the first novel: The Chasers are simply not scary. Truly successful zombie novels describe the individual appearances of the beasts, but the Chasers are lumped together with bland characteristics like "sunken cheeks and "bloodied mouths." As a main character, Jesse is dull, but the supporting cast manages to infuse him with a bit of depth. The suspense never builds into real tension, making the whole narrative a plod to the setup for the (hopefully) final book. A shell devoid of true action and suspense. (Horror. 13-16)

Product Details

Publication date:
Alone Series, #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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Copyright © 2011James Phelan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8068-8



then ...

My name is Felicity, she said. I am recording this from my family home ...

She looked like she was about eighteen or nineteen. Blond hair, pretty face, kind of how I'd expected an attractive American girl to look. But these were the words this girl spoke into her camera every day: Death. Screaming. Silence. Gunfire. How our world had so quickly changed.

I'd found the camera on top of the TV and had been sitting on her couch, watching the footage for the past half-hour. Scattered around the living room were photos of a happy-looking middle-aged couple and the girl, Felicity.

"How many of you are left?" I asked aloud. Maybe she was now part of an endangered species. Maybe that's why she was keeping some kind of video diary, so she wouldn't be lost forever like everyone else.

I remembered the vacant forms of Dave and Anna and Mini as they lay there together: lost, silent, still.

My broken friends.

Back at 30 Rock, I'd ruffled their beds and served them food and pretended not to notice when I scraped it away, like I pretended not to notice so much else. I sat there on the observation decks and took it in shifts by myself. I was the one who broke through the locked door in 59C and used the typewriter in the study. I was the one who had shot a man dead in the street and watched him fall like a tree. My friends had been with me the whole time, but only I had seen them after that first day.

I'd met no other survivors since. I thought it was just me and the Chasers and the hint of those I'd seen from afar. But Felicity was real. Part of me burned to find her, to know that she was okay, a signal fire in my chest.

"Where are you now?" My voice was a whisper, as useful as a single clap in a crowd of applause. My breath fogged but it felt warm in here.

I fast-forwarded to her latest entry:

Earlier this morning I went out to look around for others like me ... There seem to be groups of people out there but I'd only ever heard them at night. I was too scared to go out and approach them in case they shot me, or worse ...

"But have you seen them?" I asked the screen. "Have you seen what they do?"

I remembered the first time I saw the Chasers. Among the group of people drinking rain and slush was another, smaller group, hunched over the dead bodies in the street. Like animals. In horror, I realized that their mouths were closed over the bare flesh of those bodies. They were drinking from them. They were drinking everything. Anything.

Felicity continued speaking. Crazed people. They dip their mouths into pools of water as easy as they drink from the dying, from the dead.

"You've seen them!" I wanted to punch the air in recognition. Felicity had seen them too. "You must be real. You must be okay."

Now I knew there really was hope, there really was a world out there, one with survivors like me. I could again let myself wonder what my friends were doing back home in Australia; school would be starting any day, our final year at high school. They'd have so many stories to tell of summer holidays. I'd give it all and then some to hear my dad's voice, to hear him tell me everything was okay there and that help was on its way—that it would be all right and that they all missed me, that I'd be home soon.

Even the thought of seeing my dragon of a stepmother seemed bearable. And maybe it was time to track down my real mum, if I could just ...

Felicity turned her head to the side and listened to something off-screen. From the background, I could tell that she'd filmed herself with the camera perched on the coffee table. She was sitting on the leather couch I was sitting on now. She remained quiet, facing left, and I looked in that direction too—towards the door of the apartment. There was a banging noise coming through the camera's little speaker and it startled me and I saw that she'd also jumped at the sound. She slid down from the couch and sat on the floor, close to the camera, but kept her face pointed towards the front door. I glanced at it again; I'd dead bolted it the previous night as soon as I'd come in.

I paused the video and listened. There it was again; a noise outside. I went to the window and peered through the curtains. No movement out there in the breaking dawn. Silence. A dead streetscape. That hadn't changed. My breath fogged against the glass as I waited, wrapped in a quilt, watching, searching, imagining.

I pressed play on the camera, just to hear her voice, worried that she would disappear as unexpectedly as she had arrived.

It's been twelve days since the incident ...

I paused the tape again. Twelve days? Is that how long I'd been checking the phones and televisions and radios, wanting to hear the sound of anyone's voice other than my own?

Twelve days ago, I'd taken that subway ride from the UN Secretariat Building towards Lower Manhattan, a trip that saved my life and changed my world.

"I'd been on a leadership camp for senior students," I told her. "It was meant to teach us about how the world really worked. Some education."

I waited for her response. Of course it didn't come. But she was still more alive than the friends I'd had to let go. She was still real to me, so I continued talking to the screen.

"There was a bang and our train carriage rolled and it had been hot and then black and an hour or so later I had come to and by dim flashlight I'd found my way to street level to find the power out and the phones dead. And that was the best of it."

I remembered seeing that unexploded missile in the street on the first day. All those craters around town, the buildings that had been reduced to rubble. It seemed too big an attack for terrorists. Far too big. Citywide, at least. What with all the radio and TV stations being out, the total lack of response from authorities. This had to be nationwide ...

The little camera's battery light was flashing red, reminding me that I could lose Felicity at any moment. I had to be sure what she had said.

Was today day twelve? Or was that yesterday? Was she counting from the day after? Was it twelve nights that had passed? I started to feel uneasy about how carelessly I'd been marking time.

I pressed play again. There was silence on the camera too. I watched Felicity and she stared back at me. She spoke softer, quieter, closer to the camera:

At first I didn't see anyone. I stayed clear of Central Park because I've seen those sick people congregate there, thousands of them. But this morning I was out getting food, and I found a bicycle and started riding back. The sun was out and for a moment I forgot where I was, what was around me, how the world has changed ... I ended up riding into the park, as I've done with my parents hundreds of times as a kid ...

She shifted position, sitting up a little straighter and redirecting the camera's lens so that it didn't crop off the top half of her face.

It was the lower west corner; you can't see it clearly from here for the trees. I rode by a group of them. They looked sick, like the others I've seen. There were maybe fifty or more. But they were standing around a fire. And there was something about them—they seemed almost ... friendly.

She looked down at her lap. Perhaps she was flexing and cracking her knuckles with anxiety like I was doing now.

It's about three o'clock. I'm going back to the park while there's still daylight. I'm going to see if I can talk to them, to that group.

She was still and watched the camera lens and I fe

Excerpted from SURVIVOR by JAMES PHELAN. Copyright © 2011 by James Phelan. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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Survivor: Alone. by James Phelan 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
If you haven’t read the first book in this series, I wouldn’t suggest you continue reading due to potential spoilers! I read the first novel in author James Phelan’s, Alone series about a year ago. What I do remember about the first novel? That there was a major twist involving the main character’s psyche and that there were zombies who weren’t zombies at all. However, after the revelation that came in Chasers I was interested in finding out what would happen next to the main character Jesse.                Survivor takes place right where Chasers left off. Jesse has discovered that he has been alone the entire time and that his companions were just figments of his imagination and must now figure out how to last against the Chasers that want to drink anything liquid that they can find. Things have gone from bad to worse because it seems that certain Chasers are beginning to evolve into predator-like creatures that have begun to hunt their prey.  Jesse isn’t sure what to do about the evolving Chasers, but he does know that there are other survivors in New York City and that he has to find one of them. Jesse discovers that the US military has arrived in New York and is prepared to kill any Chasers that they can find. Jesse is positive that he cannot trust the soldiers and, perhaps by luck, finds a few survivors who he tries to save from the Chasers and the post-apocalyptic world that they have been left in.  Jesse will have to learn what it really means to survive in this new world and if he can come out a survivor. My big problem with Survivor was that, like the novel before it, I had such a hard time getting into it for a number of reasons but I’ll just describe three of them. The first being that I couldn’t relate or sympathize for Jesse at all. He was a protagonist that I felt so distant from and left me with an inability to worry about him when the Chasers would come after him. However, despite my inability to really connect with Jesse I did find myself connecting with new characters Caleb and Rachel. The second thing would be that the pacing is, I think, very awkward. There are moments that are filled with action, but soon after there’ll be a drop that left me on the verge of bored. The scenes that are full of action are seriously exciting and you do get caught up in them and they’re fantastic but when things do reach a calm they tend to lose all that excitement and don’t really build up to much of anything. On the topic of the twist in the novel, while it wasn’t as great as the one found in Chasers, it was still pretty awesome. The final thing that I want to mention that gave me difficulty with this novel (and Chasers) would have to be the “zombies”. What originally had me so excited to get started on this series was the promise of zombies with a twist. My understanding of zombies has always been that they are the living dead who want to eat you. That sounds terrifying. The “zombies” in this series are people who come up with a strain of an infection and have an insatiable thirst. Jesse comes up with calling them Chasers because they… well chase their prey. Personally, the Chasers didn’t scare me, I wouldn’t see them and start bawling, but they did creep me out. I’d recommend the Alone series to readers who are open minded about post-apocalyptic situations, readers who want a novel that has great action scenes and are packed full of twists.
Readinginpajamas-Donna More than 1 year ago
This book pulls you into the mind of a 16 year old boy trying to survive the aftermath of horrible destruction. To make matters worse, the chemicals have turned people into crazed ‘zombiesque’ hunters. While being chased, he is looking for others like him….normal. When he does find other stragglers, you feel their uncertainty, fear, hope and longing for companionship. Each has a different background and personality but now have something in common and they desperately hang onto that thread and struggle to determine the best course of action. This story pulled me in and won’t let go. I cannot wait until book 3 so I can stop worrying about them. Great read.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite In Survivor, the second book in a post-apocalyptic yarn by James Phelan, it's been twelve days since terror swept through the streets of New York City and young Aussie teen Jesse hasn't encountered anybody. Living, that is. He's encountered plenty of Chasers, humans infected by a virus that makes them incredibly thirsty - for water or other, more sinister liquids. Soon enough, he finds evidence of other survivors as well: Rachel, the last remaining zoo keeper at the Central Park Zoo, Caleb, an aspiring graphic novelist holed up in a bookstore, and Felicity, a girl Jesse has only seen through her video diary. As he tried to bring the four of them together, avoid the Chasers, and find out what exactly is going on, Jesse comes to learn what it really means to be a survivor. Unfortunately I hadn't had a chance to read the first book in the Alone series but that in no way ruined my enjoyment of Mr. Phelan's second book as he gave just enough information about what had happened before to bring us up to speed without bogging us down in exposition. And once you get into it, Survivor zips along at a fast pace as Jesse struggles to survive, to find a home in a country that's not his own, and to navigate the moral labyrinth that is killing people who may or may not still be human. Survivor makes an excellent bridge to book three and an awesome read for fans of post-apocalyptic fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved but it not the best iv read but its still in the top ten for me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alive with wildlife and the occasional zombie. Fairly safe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(At this point ill take character applications ill get to them in the next chapter ;) ) Cassy crumpled to the ground afraid andd alone. More people were brught in. But even surroundes by people of all ages she was alone. (8 years later) Cassy moved through the hallways it was dark as always. She felt along the walls it had been 8 years since the were brought here most people had given up on finding their way out but cassy was one of few who hadnt given up she went out to try to find it all the time. There was no night and day here they told time by the way the tiny tiny lights dimmed and brightened like clockwork. Cassy sighed and kicked the wall in frustration something moved behind her. She turned to see her froend Meekee. "Cassy give it up." Cassy sighed. "No. I wont do it Ill find it someday just wait." Meekee sighes and walked away. (For character applications put ur characters name their relation to cassy (she doesnt have family so friend aqaintance boyfriend the people that put her here ect.) gender personality and appearance.)