4 stars for this book. I really enjoyed the story here - I got just enough backstory and introduction to the characters to keep me turning pages and wanting to read the next books. Kansas (Kan) is the main character and she is pretty much a badass from having lived on her own for about 4 years. With the exception of running across a few loners and/or some zombies - Kansas has lived in a bunker under her old home for the last 4 years. She has begun to notice some changes in the famished (zombies) and when she runs into 4 other humans that are being attacked, she helps them out. This is when everything starts to change for Kansas. Without giving anything away, Kansas ends up leaving her bunker and runs into Rudy. As a character I loved him...totally wish he had a different name though. He is tough yet sensitive and quickly becomes close with Kansas. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, they end up staying in a community where Kansas is introduced to a lot of different survivors as well as some weird ways that people have been living with the famished. Enter Mac....he is a good friend to Rudy and eventually a love triangle rears it's head. It isn't done in a bad way...there are reasons why certain characters are less forthcoming about their feelings and there are also a number of secrets among all of them. Some things I loved about this story:Glinda - very much like a mother figure to Kansas and definitely someone she needed in her life.The Characters - I really did like the majority of the characters and am looking forward to learning more about them and their backgrounds in the next booksThe underlying communities - Walls dives into different responses to this type of apocalyptic story by creating different communities and showing what they are doing to survive...it was interesting to see the differences. The only thing I wish I learned more about in this book is how things got the way they were. We get a little glimpse into what happened at the end because one of the characters says something to Kansas but I didn't find out enough. I expect more will come out in the next book when things move forward but since I am fairly impatient, I really wish I would have gotten a bit more. I also wish we could have learned more about Kansas' dad - it was interesting that he was preparing for something (maybe not the zombies but definitely something) and I would love to know what he knew.Overall, it was a great first book to the series and I am definitely looking forward to the next book. Anyone who enjoys an action packed story with strong characters and quite a bit of blood/gore will enjoy this book.