I expected more from this book, but at the same time I was entertained by what I did have. The pacing was a little up and down. There were times I couldn’t put the book down and others where I left it for days. Mostly, I enjoyed reading when Eve and whoever she was with at the time, would be moving around, trying to reach a place she was told would keep her safe. Watching as a pampered, book smart girl tried to survive out in the woods where troops were hunting her down was very interesting. I loved watching as she struggled, as she found triumphs and loss.
The description in the novel was quite mature and a little gory at times. I think the book would have been absolutely fine without the in depth descriptions of skeletons and animals dying. There were quite a few times I was disturbed by the description of an animal being killed and skinned. Obviously, to survive I know this needs to happen. But I was a little put off with the over the top explanation of it. However, the description of the sceneries and buildings and people were all great and very realistic. I particularly liked the little mentions Carey would throw in about the characters. These mentions made everything feel more real.
The plot wasn’t original in the grand scheme of things. But there was enough there to keep it fresh. This wasn’t a story of hope. I didn’t feel much hope at all throughout it. Everyone died, or became bad, or were dead to begin with. There was always something horrible waiting around the corner. Always blood and gore and sorrow. But this made the novel. It is what an apocalypse book is all about. How you deal with tragedy. And how you overcome it. Not how you fix it.
Mostly, I disliked Eve. For someone so book smart, she was really stupid. She messed up all the time. Everyone else was always having to save her. She said the wrong things. Did the wrong things. And none of these were endearing. No, they made me want to punch her. I didn’t see anything special about the girl, and the fact that she could so readily leave her friends to save her own life wasn’t very becoming of her. I mean, yes she was sweet. And she cared and gave people second chances. She did have redeeming qualities, but not enough that it would make me like her. Eve was out for number one. And while I wasn’t totally invested in the romance she finds while out on the move, I did want to see it succeed and the ending further fuelled my hatred for her.
Speaking of the ending, I like that it leads way to a sequel, but you could pretty much leave it there.
All in all, I wasn’t loving this book, but I did enjoy it. When it worked, it definitely worked for me. But when it didn’t, it was pretty forgettable. To be fair, I think I probably should have read this before ASHES or THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. Because it paled in comparison. I am keeping this in mind with my rating, though. So if you like apocalypse stories and stories of adventure and death and loss, this is a book for you.