This book was...pretty bad. Mostly because the main character was a complete Mary Sue. We are told constantly how smart and insightful she is, how good her instincts are, and how inexplicably good she is with an axe despite zero training or prior knowledge. She quotes Shakespeare, has random scientific knowledge, is mixed race AND bisexual. She hates guns, cuz they’re so, like, cold and hateful. When a wise character (who’s Asian, natch) points out that guns are possibly useful in post-apocalyptic situations, Red actually says, disdainfully, that she doesn’t need a gun cuz she’s got BRAINS. Even when her brother or random soldiers “insult” her, it’s actually written to give her compliments: oh man, she’s so non-compliant, she’s so annoyingly forthright and brave (dramatic eye roll, gosh can you believe this girl?).
The plot itself is okay, until suddenly a whole new element is introduced and then left unexplained and unresolved. Unfortunately it was also the most interesting part, but it also felt completely random, like the author realised people having a cough and dying wasn’t interesting enough.
As a final hat-tip to authors everywhere, no one - and I mean, NO ONE - casually drops the phrase “deux ex machina” into conversation.