When the world of ARCs opened it's doors for me I realized something; I have a weakness for using quotes in my reviews, and really hate being without them.
The story is set in some kind of apocalyptic future, but other than that, I can't give any other background. Not because the publisher asked to keep it quiet, no, it's because there's none there. This bothered me until some 30% into it, and is a pretty big deal to me; I need to know the why of things. It was especially hard not knowing since the main characters had these abilities that made no sense, and weren't really explained (I use that loosely) until roughly 80% (give or take). They can do things like have images projected onto their corneas, and access satellite information with just a thought; they have various drugs for different things, and body modifications abound it seems. No food grows either apparently, but I have no idea why as there was nothing to suggest that the atmosphere itself was altered. This still annoys me that I know so little, but the heart of the story was able to push through the lack of basic information.
Moving on to said heart, this was a really good story. Very intense, and tugged at my heart strings a lot. Mainly because of Wren, but Three and Cass both hurt me a few times too. Cass and Wren are mother and son, and when Three first sees them she's desperate and seems hurt. Tightly controlled and nomadic, Three never helps people in that same situation, but something about these two won't let go of him, and somehow he ends up helping them escape. From what, he has no idea, and often mentions that the choice of taking them on might kill him. But does it?!
Wren and Cass were really, really great. Wren is a young boy who felt very authentic to his age (Three thought he was about five, but much later we learn he's almost seven), and as my own son just barely turned eight, I felt his scenes much more in my marrow than I wanted. He goes through a lot, and I mean, a lot, but he's incredibly brave and strong, and just good. He's special and it's because of this that Cass ran with him trying to save him from Asher. I won't reveal the secret about Asher because I want you all to be as surprised as I was, but it's good. Back to Cass and Wren though, she was just incredible with her will to save him and make it through their terrifying nights, but if not for Three she would have failed. There's a bit of romance for them, but again, I use the term incredibly loose.
The bad guys are really bad, and the Weir freaked me out! Asher was spectacular in his role as scary asshole, and actually, all the bad guys were wonderfully scary. The good guys were also good, though I still have some questions about a few. Like jCharles and Mol. Mol especially since there seemed to be such depth of history with her and Three, but once again, we're not privy to what that was.
The action is never ending, and even at 99% I kept waiting for the relief to know that the good guys triumphed over the bad guys, and that maybe Three and Cass became a family, and, and, and...there is an epilogue.
The prose is both sparse and really lovely (at one point he likens a sound to that of shadows sliding over a roof), and I really enjoyed it. Jay Posey might have driven me CRAZY with the lack of information, but he wrote a really great story, and though it had flaws for me, I know I'm not going to forget anytime soon.
7/29/13 **Edited to add** Well I said I wouldn't forget the story, but I sort of have, except for the many things that worked on my nerves while I read. :/