OK, first let me state that the three stars are not a reflection on Mr. Maberry's writing. On the contrary -- if you read this book, you will find excellent writing, wonderful plotting, interesting world building and great characters. But you will also find zombies. In fact, you will be reading about life after the zombie apocalypse. And I just don't buy zombies ( I think they're silly). Many otherwise wonderful books have been ruined for me because they have zombies in them. And to me, zombies are gross and horrible, but also completely ridiculous and not at all convincing. Whereas I am OK with ring wraiths, as in Tolkien, gods, as in Megan Whalen Turner, and nature magic, as in Hilari Bell. But dead people who rise from the grave and try and eat your brains? Nope! That's just too silly.But I digress. What I'm trying to say is, don't pay any attention to my three stars, if you like zombies. For you, this book may well be a 5 star read! Because there are many wonderful things in it, plus zombies. The characters and their interactions are really vivid and engaging, and the plot is compelling and in places really moving, as well.In sum -- I think this is a really good book. Well worth reading, despite the zombies -- just not my favorite, because of the zombies.