4.5/5I haven't read a book I really loved in months, and I've been picking up and putting down countless books recently. Until this one. And I loved that as I was reading it, I was realizing that it was going to be a new favourite of mine and let me tell you, I was never so disappointed to see the "Acknowledgements" page after that last chapter. Two things: That's not how it ends at all.It ends with us killing each other behind rows of empty beer coolers in the dying light of a late-summer day.I went up to him before the last of the light was gone. Not to see if he was dead. I knew he was dead. I wanted to see what he was holding in his bloody hand.It was a crucifix.That passage near the beginning made me sit up and take note. This was not a book that was to be ignored. "It's hopeless. And it's stupid. It's suicidal. But love is a weapon they have no answer for. They know how you think, but they can't know what you feel." Damn, RIck Yancey, I like your book a lot.---This one took me by surprise, I'm usually one to ignore the hype and I've done my fair share of wandering around bookstores and reading 50 or so pages, then leaving. However, I took this baby home with me ;) Before we get to the brilliance of the writing, can we just talk about the freaking plot? It's so well crafted and builds a solid foundation for the series. Everything from the 1st wave to the Arrival, from Camp Ashpit to Camp Haven, I loved the way Yancey really thought through the Others' plan of attack. It allowed for much better rapport between the protagonist and the actions of the antagonist instead of one directional volleys. Okay, but if plots aren't your thing, maybe writing is. It really is gorgeous, I really picked up on some of the colour imagery (because it was reminiscent of The Book Thief), as well certain distinct features like the Eye and the Mothership. Some passages were breathtaking and haunting, and definitely made my mind turn over on itself; he fleshes out the complications and pain of war, loss, family, and love, yet still maintains an action-packed atmosphere and a tense feeling of impending doom. So then there are the characters, where I loved and like the whole bunch. Another thing I didn't expect-- the switching POVs (okay, okay, maybe I didn't thoroughly research this book before reading it) but it was such a pleasant surprise. There was a point where Yancey switched between 1st and 3rd POV which I found interesting and enjoyable. My problem is that the central romance was lacking for me, I mean, okay, hopeless devotion is only romantic to an extent. I much more enjoyed Cassie throwing meat at his head. Yancey leaves an aura of mystery around many of the characters that leaves me eager to find out more. I found one or two of the POVs slowed down the story and I definitely felt a lull during the middle portion of the book; however, there's enough heart-pumping action in the third act to make me forget all about it ;) Overall, it was an exhilarating, addictive book and I'm still smiling about it. A well-developed, intricate plot paired with characters who you want to see make it through really seems to be a winning combination. Fabulous writing, and hugely recommended.