I'm a person who always feels compelled to see a book through to the end, regardless of how I'm feeling once I hit page 50; by that benchmark I usually know if I'm going to like it -- or not. I laboriously read my way to that page and knew I was doomed. I forced myself to finish this wordy tome, and words fail me as I try to convey my message to unsuspecting readers who might be tempted to snap this up because of a completely ludicrous set of blurbs proclaiming that this apocalyptic novel is the next great epic of nuclear annihilation. Really? I want to read whatever book those people read -- honestly, the excessive praise by "bestselling authors" and award winners stuns me and makes me question forever if they actually really ever read the books or if they just trade bon mots and write rave reviews for each other on some sort of exchange program?
Here's my review in a nutshell. Do not waste your time on this book unless you enjoy torturing yourself with visions of talking rats, cogent machines, thinking warheads, trash-talking characters who have no redeeming qualities, a heroine who requires you to suspend disbelief as she survives unbelievable peril (not to mention nuclear detonation, radiation fallout, and multiple surefire death scenarios) and an old woman reminiscent of a similar character in Stephen King's The Stand (a far superior novel). I didn't like any one in this novel and really didn't care if they survived or not.
Frankly, there's nothing redeeming this book from the dumpster -- I can't think of a single person I'd pass this one to. I love a good apocalyptic novel - but this wasn't one of those. Skip it!