This was a good follow up to The Yard . I figured out some of the mystery before the reveal but that's okay. I still really enjoyed the story and the characters.
This isn't a traditional anthology. It's in the style of "found" documents and the multiple authors contributed.
I was disappointed with this one. I'd read [b:Zombie Apocalypse! and thought it did an exception job of showing a civilization in decline before the zombies even showed up. Since this is a sequel of sorts, I thought it would pick up about where the other one left off but instead a lot of the book covered the same territory from other points of view but there was very little indication of a society already in decline except for the mention of austerity here and there.
The actual zombie stuff wasn't all that interesting. I think they made a mistake in having a section from the point of view of the zombies because then you start to get into logistics. There's a throwaway reference to a meat farm but at some point food becomes a major issue. They tried to do some interesting things with acquiring the memories of another person but I'm not sure it makes sense that if zombies can't think or think creatively they'd be able to carry out complex military operations.
I liked it but I thought the series was going to follow the characters from Cinder. Instead I think the majority of the time was spent with characters based on a different fairy tale, though there was some intersection.
I enjoyed it for the most part. I thought most of the characters were interesting, particularly Tarrant and Vryce. Unfortunately, the exception is Chaini who's just kind of there. Vryce and Chaini flirt a bit and somehow that's sort of kind of maybe love? The person he's attracted to isn't there for very long and I didn't feel like their connection was particularly strong in the first place.
Some other reviews have said it shouldn't have been enough for him to throw everything aside to return her to her former state and I agree with that. However, I think part Vryce's job/religious calling is killing bad things and healing people so if it had been presented more in that light rather than because he was sort of kind of maybe thinking about falling in love with her it would have made a lot more sense.
And it turns out he didn't really pay attention to the things that made her different and unlikely to be a good partner for him in the first place so all his angsting about how she was going to change didn't really work for me. Was she the first Loremaster he'd ever met? If not, did he just forget their personality template?
I get why Senzei goes on the quest. We're told about their years long strong friendship rather than actually shown it, but I buy that as motivation for him to be there.
The world the author created was pretty awesome, I just wish it could have been used more effectively. It was a little unclear to me if only people with some kind of innate gift can affect how things evolve or if it's supposed to be the mass unconsciousness and if so, how they keep all that under control.
It was an interesting book about how the Right used the traditional populist rhetoric of the Left to get people energized and turn their anger toward things like stopping health care reform rather than focusing on the bailouts. But as with What's the Matter with Kansas, I found myself wishing that Frank would take a hard look at the Left, too.
He seems to still believe that there is a populist movement on the Left but I no longer believe that's true of the Democratic establishment. One need only to look at the Progressive Caucuse's budget and how little attention was paid to it to see that.