A few weeks ago, I posted about Gray Part I. and had rave reviews. The fact that I haven’t posted about Part II yet has nothing to do with the quality; instead the delay is entirely of my own making. Mr Cadle did not deserve the delay, as this book continued with the high quality of the first part.
Below, you will find my review of Gray Part II, by Lou Cadle. (Spoilers from here on, naturally.)
Gray Part II starts just a few days after Part I concluded. Having survived their encounter with the Wal-Mart militia, Coral and Benjamin find themselves in a world of hurt – literally. Benjamin having just barely survived, is being cared for by Coral as they continue their trek looking for food and water. This book deals with the implications of fanaticism and religion (to a degree) as our heroes are captured by a cult. I won’t divulge what the cult’s goals were; that tidbit I will leave for you to discover.
Cadle’s trip through a world without society continues as we see new survivors trying to cope with their new reality as well. This time, we see how the fringe react to the new world dynamic – and to some it may read as a step back in a broad sense. Women are relegated to a more nurturer role while men handle the food gathering and construction roles. For Coral and Benjamin, this is quite shock as both are “cutting edge” in terms of their societal views. The beauty of this installment lies in the introduction of a new society as Coral and Benjamin are forced to acclimate. Until now, Coral’s world extended only to Benjamin, as his extended only to Coral.
As the weakest of all three parts, I found that Cadle’s approach to cultism to border on religion intolerance. Thankfully, this installment included enough craziness in terms of the cult to distance itself from outright negativity so that the implied religious intolerance can be easy to miss. Cadle attempted to tease the idea that Benjamin might have chosen to stay with the cult, however this aspect fell a little flat and it was easy (for me anyway) not to worry about this tease. For me, this added a lack of suspense that contributed to the slower feel for the installment. Even so, this installment was still quite the page turner overall.
Part II ends in an explosive manner, as our heroes fight to escape their plight. Neither are quite as strong as they were before, however, having suffered physical and mental injuries that need tending. Cadle’s ability to throw everything the world has to offer against his heroes is his real strength. I have always found that the best protagonists are dynamic as opposed to static. In this, Cadle succeeds in every respect as the challenges continue to force Coral and Benjamin to re-examine themselves and their beliefs.
In conclusion, Part II, while not as entertaining as Part’s I or III, is still a must read. And like the other two installments, the read is fast and very entertaining.