Review: Clickers II: The Next Wave by J. F. Gonzalez and Brian Keene

The first wave was just the beginning . . . The United States is in ruins. It has just suffered one of the worst hurricanes in history, the people are demoralized, and the president is a religious fanatic. Then things get really bad – the Clickers return. Thousands of the monsters swarm across the entire nation and march inland, slaughtering anyone and anything they come across. But this time the Clickers aren’t blindly rushing onto land – they are being led by an intelligence older than civilization itself. A force that wants to take dry land away from the mammals. Those left alive soon realize that they must do everything and anything they can to protect humanity – no matter the cost. This isn’t war, this is extermination.

Clickers: The Next Wave by J.F. Gonzalez and Brian Keene. Book # 2 in the Clickers series. Narrated by Chet Williamson. Audiobook edition published by Deadite Press, 2021. Run time of 9 hours and 54 minutes.

*Trigger Warning: Rape.

After finishing the fun B-movie vibe book Clickers, I moved right on over to book II! I enjoyed the first book in the series and I want to read the whole series one day soon. 😀

Book number 2, The Next Wave, is….. odd. While the first book was a fun pulp fiction ride, there is just something off with the 2nd book. :/ For me personally, the biggest problem is that # 2 feels horribly over booked! There is just WAAAAAYYYY too much going on, in too many different locations, with TOO many people! I had a hard time remembering who was who. 😐

Some things within the plot felt oddly placed, too… It’s hard to explain! :/ Sometimes things are brought up or happen, but it didn’t really seem to do or add anything to the story…? I don’t know if it was done to give depth to the characters…? If it was, it just didn’t work for me.

An example of an out of place odd side plot event is the rape of the male main character. It was just… so random. It just felt so out of place? It didn’t leave me feeling shocked or upset…. it just left me feeling…. perplexed. :\ I can’t stress enough just how super randomly placed this scene was. D:

Most of the bad reviews complain about the hell bent, religious, far-right nut job the President turned out to be. This character did end up becoming a big part of the story. Did it feel like the authors were putting a little TOO much of their personal feelings / opinions about conservative right wing republicans cloud the main plot? Hmmm…. A little bit. Did it ruin the story? Nah, it wasn’t that bad.

Mostly Clickers II was just all over the place! That’s what really killed this book for me. D: I don’t know what happened? Were they (the authors) just trying to cram a lot more stuff into book 2? I mean, it is much more action packed then Clickers…. but bigger isn’t always better! It wasn’t bad that the war takes place over the whole east coast, but as far as what the focus is, maybe only focus on a smaller section of the east coast? :/ Too much was spread out and it just made the plot feel too stretched and thinned out, you know?

The big ending confrontation was very action packed. The way everyone came together, though, just felt like one big jumble. The last two hours felt too convoluted! :/ Too many people, too much action (?!) ….. just… TOO MUCH EVERYTHING! D: Dial it back a little bit! More than once I was left scratching my head- “Who is that again?”, “where is this again?”, “Do what now?”, etc. What should have been an epic showdown, ended up just feeling meh and muddled. 😦

Meh and muddled is Clickers II’s jam though. It was very…… ok. Not as good as the first one. Less focused. Too big. I still plan on reading the rest of the series, but I feel more wary than excited about it now….? D:


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