I can't believe I actually was able to finish this book. There were many times I thought about stopping. Why? Because of the main character, that's why! She's so self-absorbed, so stupid that I just wanted to chuck the book right out the window! But I didn't because I actually do enjoy the world building. I said it in my review of <i>The Forest of Hands and Teeth</i> that Ryan has created a frightening and haunting world filled with zombies and it is for that aspect that I kept reading this book. That... and my best friend really wanted me to so I said, "Do it for her!" And I did. (You owe me big time, girl!)
Ryan's writing ability in this book was severely lacking. There were times where the descriptions were so dry I could barely keep my eyes open. Other times she rehashed the same phrase over and over. For example, she used "one foot in front of the other" about seven times and Catcher's "warm skin as a reminder of the infection" more times than I cared to count. It was all very bland. Her characters weren't any better. They, too, were not very interesting (more on this later). The only thing I can say she got right was her world building. Ryan has very creative ideas about her world of the Unconsecrated and it really does show. I enjoy seeing how she adds new parts to the Forest and how their are religious cults that are downright terrifying. I shudder at the recollection of it. And it is for this "world" that I decided to continue reading this book. Even if the characters blow.
Speaking of which, Gabry, main character, was an annoying, stupid, self-absorbed, little coward that only did anything for her own sake without giving a damn about how others might feel and remained so throughout the entire book! There is no character development whatsoever! With Gabry or with any of the other characters! They remain boring, flat, one-dimensional characters from beginning to end and, for someone who loves reading books with amazing character development, it was grating at best. Gabry falls into that trope where she is some amazing girl that gets all the guys to fall in love with her even though she does absolutely nothing to deserve it. "Instalove" and "love triangles" are HUGE in this book. Elias, one of the love interests, being the one to participate in the "instalove" and Catcher making up the other part of the "triangle." Gabry goes back and forth, back and forth between the two guys throughout the entire story. Why? Well, when one wasn't paying any attention to her, she would switch to the other. For no other reason but to have someone be her tool. Her actions were disgusting, demeaning, and selfish. If there was a way to grab her by the neck and shove her off a cliff, I would have done it within the first few chapters on this book.
Obviously, I did not like this book aside from the world building. The characters are horrible, the writing is not that great, and the overall plot seems to be lacking as well. Not much happens in this book besides Gabry not being able to make up her mind as to which penis she wanted more. And what little of the plot that kept my interest used to go by so fast that it didn't feel like it was worth reading. If you are curious about the world of the Unconsecrated, then I say give it a try. If you have a problem with characters like Gabry, you might not want to read this. Decide for yourself. You might like it better than I did.