Quarantine (Alone #3) by James Phelan

In a dangerous, devastated New York, one 16-year-old Australian boy finds himself alone…

It’s now or maybe never sixteen year old Jesse has spent eighteen days in post-apocalyse New York, 17214425waiting for help that never comes. He owes it to his new friends, Rachel and Felicity, to go beyond their temporary refuge to find other survivors who may hold the key to escape. Could the collective at Chelsea Piers have the answers or prove to be just another distraction in his quest? Meanwhile, Jesse is burdened with guilt and sadness at the fate of his other friend, Caleb, who has fallen prey to the virus and become a Chaser. So when it emerges that a cure-all serum may be available, Jesse determines to secure it to save his friend. At any cost perhaps even his own future. – Goodreads.com

I seem to be on a roll lately for reading books I didn’t realize were part of a series.  I thought I had the basic gist of the first two books – Jesse was visiting New York from Australia when the virus hit and lost some friends along the way – no problem keeping up with that.  As I got into the book, I realized I didn’t understand the different degrees of viruses (some Chasers were passive, others more aggressive) or the prior relationship between Jesse and Caleb, things I assume the two other books in the series could explain.  And then I got to the epilogue and was completely thrown for a loop – I’m still not sure exactly what happened, but it seemed like it was supposed to be a shocker.

The group dynamics at Chelsea Piers were thought-provoking as far as how people react in the aftermath of a disaster, what they believe in, and if they choose to take a course of action or wait for rescue.  However, I felt the “insta-love” of Paige for Jesse was implausible – she was ready to make life-altering choices for him after only knowing him a couple of days for seemingly no reason.

The pacing held my attention, the book was well-written, and there was a lot of action, but I still felt like some pieces of the puzzle were missing and questions left unanswered as to the military involvement.  Jesse was an admirable protagonist – likeable, determined, fearless, and seemed to have his heart in the right place.  Although I enjoyed reading this book, I’d still recommend starting at the beginning of the series.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

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