My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a beautiful book about zombies, something which I didn’t think was possible to achieve, and although its unique presentation impressed me, it did not come without sacrifice.
To me, a zombie apocalypse book, even a YA one, should be full of horrific details. This book read like poetry. There was so much emotion, so much elicited empathy, that it was almost distracting from the story. Sometimes I had to stop and wonder, do these characters realize that horror that surrounds them? Granted, I think the intention was to create a world where the characters knew nothing else (since the apocalypse happened before they were born) and that was certainly communicated. But the reader receives so little detail of the Unconsecrated- so much is left up to the imagination- that I wondered if some would assume they were green-fleshed, moaning monsters: the classic. Which I know was not the intention.
The story was creepy, but for odd reasons. The town was creepy in a cult-like way, the Guardians and the Sisterhood were creepy with their secrets, and the courting and marriage rituals were creepy in their primitiveness. The Unconsecrated, the zombies, were actually not very creepy at all. Just sad. There were scenes where the characters were inches from them, protected only by a simple fence, and yet I knew I wasn’t getting the full effect; there wasn’t enough description.
One minor complaint, and this is a small spoiler- but not really- there is an infant zombie. An infant! I’m a zombie apocalypse fan, but I can’t wrap my head around that. It’s seriously disturbing, and seemed out of place in the story. Especially because, instead of a mercy killing, it got thrown out of a window, which is only a potential mercy killing. Not good enough, in my motherly opinion.
But overall, I liked the story because it focused on rebellion, challenge, change, and hope. The only problem was that the romance and friendships of the main character were insubstantial, easily overshadowed by her dreams of seeing the ocean. Fortunately, there are two more books in this trilogy to make up for that.