This is the sort of book that is best if you go into it knowing as little as possible, so it’s a bit of a challenge to review. I will keep this review vague, but if you really don’t want to know anything more than my verdict, here it is: This is a great book with well-drawn, morally complex characters, and you should definitely read it.
Ok, with that said, I am now going to reveal a small amount about the book so I can talk about it a bit more…
This is a book about zombies. This isn’t a major spoiler, because it is heavily hinted at in the blurb on the cover, but it’s all I’m really going to reveal because one of the best things about the book is figuring things out as you get farther and farther along. Some books keep secrets from the reader and it’s incredibly annoying, but this one doles out the information at just the right pace, making it fascinating to read.
This book is way better than your average zombie apocalypse. It uses some familiar tropes but also does things differently enough that I didn’t feel like I had read it before. There is a good deal of scientific detail about the zombies and although my area of science expertise is not biology, the science didn’t set off any alarms in my mind for being too ridiculous. It’s well done enough that I bought in completely.
The real strength of this story are the characters. This is a tightly written novel with a small cast of characters, but each of them is fleshed out and complex, with interesting backstories and plausible motivations. I was especially impressed by the “villain” character: this book could serve as a textbook for how to write a morally complex villain who the reader can sympathize with even while hating them.
Another perk is that as far as I can tell this is a stand-alone novel, not the beginning of a ten-part epic series. It is long enough to draw you in deeply but is not bloated like some sci-fi and fantasy books can become. The story arcs draw to a satisfying conclusion, and the ending is a good one that will really make you think.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it highly.