I am a bit torn on how to rate this book. Great story---I want to read the remaining 2 books in the series to see what happens. Controlling religious zealots, compounds surrounded by forests filled with the walking hungry dead, conspiracies and coverups, pirates (yes, pirates!)---I am all ears so far. Great world building---complex, multiple landscapes, great detail makes you really curious to investigate. Great back story---from the tantalizing snipets of what caused "The Return," where the dead come back as vicious zombies to eat the living, I am very interested in finding out how it all happened.
I absolutely HATED these characters.
I am just going to chalk it up to the fact that I am almost 50 and all of the characters are teenagers and this is a YA novel after all (I admit that I also found Katniss Everdeen to be very annoying at times). Also, too much romance for me (see comment about this being a YA novel with teen-aged characters).
I am looking forward to the rest of the series.