On the positive side, I cheered many times, mainly when the kids did something especially clever, and I wanted them to succeed even though I didn't feel close to them. Who doesn't want kids to succeed, right? There are a lot of cool ideas-interesting survival strategies in particular-and most of the time the kids behaved pretty much the way I would expect them to, except that I still think there should have been a lot more crying and whining. I'm glad there wasn't, but it would have made the kids feel more real. One thing I really enjoyed about the book is that the characters are widely diverse and have realistic backgrounds. I liked that they weren't all orphans, or all rich kids, or magicians or anything. Not that I have anything against magicians, but it's fun to read about normal people.
I did have a few gripes, which go to show my preferences more than any objective failure, but since you may have the same peeves as I do, I will share. First, I didn't feel connection between the characters, even siblings, which was very odd. Second, sometimes I was confused because the point of view changed throughout the scenes, giving me omniscience, except not really because I was only able to see what was happening in the characters heads, not what was happening in the wide world. Third, although gross, brutal events happened regularly, I never felt scared or creeped out. Fourth, sometimes it felt like things didn't line up, for example, the kids are stuck in a bathroom for days (maybe? It wasn't really clear), but then they act like they've just missed snack, not like they're famished. I also really disliked the ending and its lack of resolution, but I think that was the point.
When I break things down it sounds like a lot of things bothered me, but overall I really enjoyed reading the book. I stayed up late with it a couple times, and looked forward to picking it up as life permitted. For what it was, it was well written and a good read. There are some great moments, and I laughed at the adults trying to cope with the feral kids, even if the adults were more or less idiots.
Language: Some foul language.
Sexual Content: Rape is talked about, but not described.
Violence: Of course! Zombie violence and human violence.
Overall message/plot: No message, basic survival plot. It was fun having an entire survival story set in one city, and great watching the kids outmaneuver the zombies and human adults.
I received a free e copy of this book through Diverse Book Tours.
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