It's been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone. It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness--or so they thought. As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free?This book felt a little more contrived than the previous two, but, somehow, it also felt more coherent. I liked the character development, especially in Sam and Astrid. Their growth and the arc of their relationship was interesting to watch and it was nice to see them have to deal with day-to-day life rather than emergency after emergency. In fact, I think a lot of this book’s success lay in the few newly-introduced characters. We could concentrate on getting to know the characters we already saw better and sympathize more for them. It worked well, too. My heart was breaking with Mary’s decisions and her problems. I felt the same sadness and yet hope that Orsay was feeling. I could even sympathize with Lana and her PTSD. The new characters, on the other hand, seemed a little off. The island seemed very convenient and rather deus-ex-machina. The reveal about Petey, though, seemed to be so long in coming that I wasn’t as excited or even amused by it as I felt I should be. That’s not to say the book was entirely bad, though. Somewhere, halfway through this book, I think I finally got this series. Things stopped being about hopelessness and characters picked up and started acting instead of reacting and things got very interesting. I can’t quite pinpoint what it was or when, but I’ll be diving straight into the fourth book to try to figure it out!