Well, that was a thrilling 24 hours of my life. It's hard to review this book without giving away every single thing that was really nifty about it... so I won't do that. What I will talk about is impressions that I had that I really want to remember for next year when the third book comes out. And go. First off... the book is not about Mary at all, so get that out of your head. This books is about Mary's daughter, Gabrielle, who was raised in the seaside barricade of Vista where MAry washed up at the end of book one. And she is very much NOT her mother. She lacks her mother's strength and determination of will, her quickening of spirit, her constant faith and curiousity of all the "what ifs?" of the world. Gabry is very much not Mary... so readers and fans have to readjust their thinking to get around this. There's a bit in the book where Mary told her she wanted her to be safe, to grow up safe...but between the barricaded walls of Vista, the constant patrolling, the Recruitors coming to and fro and other such safeguards Gabry not only grows up safe but far too naive and innocent. Is this a flaw? Certainly not...it's just the first thing you have to realize in reading this book. You are NOT reading about strongwilled Mary... you are reading about quiet and fallible Gabry. It's not a bad thing, but if you want to glean some enjoyment out of the very beginning of the book it's best to remember that mantra.It's also interesting to note that while Ryan does go into how the world reacted when the world became infected she still does not explain how it happened. No one knows how it happened. And for a large period of time there has not been anyone brave or rational enough to seek out the answers...having a horde of Unconsecrated to fight against will also damper the pursuit of truth and knowledge. This still remains one of the greatest mysteries of this series... how did this happen? Does Ryan even need to explain it? Will that stop me from reading a sequel? Certainly not... Ryan has just cracked open a whole 'nother dimension with the Recruitors and the Soulers and the ominous sounding Dark City... praytell, what are these mysteries of which I speak? Read the book yourself... it's not perfect, but it's not far off. 4 & 1/2 stars and a very satisfied reader. I'll never look at yellow school buses or bridges over ravines the same way again.