Release Date: September 2, 2011
Publisher: MacMillan Children's Books
Since the beginning of mankind, civilizations have fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs...and now us. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening: An ancient evil has been unleashed, and it's turning everyday people into hunters, killers, and crazies. This is the world Mason, Aries, Clementine, and Michael are living in--or rather, trying to survive. Each is fleeing unspeakable horror, from murderous chaos to brutal natural disasters, and each is traveling the same road in a world gone mad. Amid the throes of the apocalypse and clinging to love and meaning wherever it can be found, these four teens are on a journey into the heart of darkness--and to find each other and a place of safety. - Goodreads.com
Wow. That's all I could say when I first laid this book down after reading it in practically one sitting. The reviews I'd read of this one were mixed... people seemed to either love it or hate it. I'm definitely in the love it category.
It's hard to really describe exactly what happens in this book. It's obviously going to be a series, and the author hasn't chosen to reveal quite yet just what the cause is of the strange change to the world's people that causes them to become murderous, mindless creatures that may still look the same, but have no hint of humanity left. And why are some people immune but not others? There aren't a great many answers to these questions in this first installment, but there was so much going on that you really don't notice.
Four kids, located in different cities and regions, are just doing what they can to survive, and eventually, yes, they find each other. That's really about all I can reveal without giving pieces of the story away. What I can say is that I loved these characters. These were average, ordinary teens when this first began, but they become extraordinary in their efforts to survive. It was set up somewhat like a soap opera. I really thought it would be very confusing to be hopping back and forth between four people's points of view, (make that 5 people, because there is an unknown narrative called Nothing that gets a chapter here and there as well.) but it wasn't at all confusing. As you move back and forth between the four characters, it actually makes it more exciting because they are each dealing with different events and each having to maneuver different obstacles to stay alive.
These characters are so real and what they go through is so emotional, that I was just completely sucked in. There were moments in this story that literally made the hair stand on my arms, and had me wanting to turn on every light in the house. It was exciting! The author did a superb job with pacing, development, and characterization. Her writing was tight, emotional, and action-packed. The scenes with the dangerous humans turned monster were eerie, a little scary, and so real. It's eerie to imagine the inner humanity of man being degraded like in this book.
There was nothing boring about this book and I flew through the pages. I am really looking forward to the next installment of this story and seeing what happens now for the world.
If you liked this book, be watching for the next installment coming out in September: