Originally read December 14, 2013
This book had an interesting story, and the writing style was engaging. A large section of the population becomes inexplicably violent and aggressive, banding together to hunt down and murder all of the non-crazy people. The reason for this behavior is explained (more or less) over the course of the book, and the story focuses around a somewhat dysfunctional family that is trying to get away from the crazies.
There were times when I was completely wrapped up in the story and I didn’t want to put the book down. However, there were also times when the story began to feel monotonous and I had trouble moving forward. The main characters are running for their lives through harsh terrain and without sufficient supplies. There was a constant repetition of the pattern in which the characters would be running for their lives, then they would find what appeared to be a safe haven and maybe even some desperately-needed supplies. Then something would happen and they were off running again, and the formula would repeat.
I found the characters and their relationships to be relatively interesting. The main characters consisted of a father, his wife, and their two children. The father was pretty likeable, and the majority of the book was from his perspective. I found the wife to be rather grating, especially in the first half of the book, and so I only grudgingly became invested in her survival. I liked the children, and they seemed interesting, but I didn’t get to know them as well as I would have liked. I thought they needed more “page time”, with more dialogue and actions. Although they were a constant presence throughout the story, most of that presence was in the form of their parents worrying about them and trying to protect them. The glimpses we did get that showed the children's personalities made me want more of that.
The ending wrapped things up way too fast. In fact, as I approached the end, I started to brace myself for either an unhappy ending or an “up in the air” type of an ending because it didn’t seem like there was enough time left in the book for anything to be conclusively resolved. I wanted the ending and the aftermath to be fleshed out a little more.
Overall, even though I found some annoyances, I thought this was a decent read and I liked the writing style, so I would be willing to try another book by this author sometime in the future. If I ever make it through my existing backlog!