See more book reviews on my blog.This book starts out by comparing a land full of virus-infected, bestial people to Africa. And then it manages to go downhill from there.There were so many problems with this book, they drowned out the good parts. The premise for this story was fairly good, if you can accept comic-book-science, and the plot line was exciting and engaging. It’ll keep readers interested, even readers like me who are busy rolling their eyes the whole time, so that’s actually impressive. The amount of romance-to-plot was handled nicely. Yes, there’s a love triangle, but it doesn’t take over the story until the end and the romance/lusty bits always get slipped in at appropriately calm moments, so there’s no sense that the plot was put on hold for it. A lot of the creatures encountered in this book were creative and horrifying, and I did have fun with the mash-ups. I even liked most of the characters. So there are people who will enjoy this book, because it does have a lot to offer in terms of entertainment.But in a way, that makes all the bad stuff just so much worse. Clearly there’s potential here, but some ill advised or just plain poorly executed decisions ruined the book for me.First of all, while the premise of having half the country quarantined and a big wall keeping everything apart was a good starting point, it was sloppily applied. The more details we got about how that whole process happened, the less sense it made. For instance, there’s a deadly virus over there, but only one guy is bothering to even try to find the cure. And also, he’s not allowed to break the quarantine in order to get tests subjects.What?That is so utterly ridiculous I don’t even know where to begin. That’s like building a hospital and only letting in healthy people. I understand that this is a super-deadly virus that most people are afraid of, but the doctors dealing with it directly should have a more rational view on it than the average citizen, and also everyone else should want it cured, too, so saying the doctor is hamstringed like this is utterly ridiculous.And then there’s the idea of ‘Fetch,’ people who cross the wall into the virus zone in order to retrieve lost works of art or personal possessions for a high cost. Awesome! What? They’re illegal? …book, do you realize that we currently kill small children for common rocks just because they’re shiny? We send people into dangerous situations for the sake for the sake of stupid shit all the time. I don’t care how many people died in that virus, I would bet everything I own that ‘fetching’ would be sanctioned. Hell, the government has helicopters and the virus can only be spread by biting, so it’s not like you can accidentally bring it home. We’d be sending in Seal Teams to clear out museums on a regular basis!Oh, right, the ‘official’ military is a joke in this world and only private company militias are still around. Why? Because so many people in the military died during the initial virus outbreak and quarantine. Um…armies recruit, book. But hey, let’s talk about these private armies. They’re evil. Or at least, the one that we see is. Why? Beats the fuck out of me. They’re tasked with guarding the wall and making sure no one crosses it, because if an infected anything crosses the wall, you get massive break-out and death again. So these guards are very strict and deadly when it comes to making sure no one crosses the river to even get an attempt at the wall. And this makes them…bad? How? One of them even ends up infected in the line of duty. These guys are putting their lives on the line to make sure that the virus stays contained, and the book has the utter gall to call them evil for it, and I have no idea why! Every tepid excuse it tries to give me makes me cry out “but that’s a good thing, you moron!”This book has a lot of weird morals to it, frankly. It seems like it wants the ‘feral’ people to stand in for either racial minorities or AIDS victims, and it switches between the two frequently. There’s a common attitude throughout the book that anyone who is ‘anti-feral’ is akin to a racist, and they’re bad people, and how dare they be so mean? There’s just one problem.THESE MUTATED ANIMAL-PEOPLE WILL TURN INTO MINDLESS KILLING MONSTERS AT THE DROP OF A HAT. Yeah. That’s how the virus works. You turn partially animal, but act human. For a while. Then the virus finishes eating your brain, and suddenly you want to eat your kid’s face. There’s no warning, just BOOM daddy’s deadly.So what are you saying, book? That black people are all ticking time bombs that could turn around and shoot you with no notice? Or that AIDS people are actually a threat that could wipe out 40% of the population? Because you can’t take the prejudices experienced by them and apply it to a group of people who are actually, legit deadly.Because this book takes a “wah, why you mean to the poor virus-infected timebombs?” approach, the main character ends up looking like a cartoon of the worst PETA stereotype. She’s all about protecting the things that have a 100% chance of killing her, and if you try and do anything about that, you’re a bad person.That last point alone was enough to make this frustrating enough to hate, but sloppy science and the way it so clearly wanted to a fantasy (complete with a castle in the middle of Chicago. Not something just called a castle, an actual castle) made it even more so. There’s more (the lust standing in for love, the utter failure of the heroine to live up to her ‘I’ve been training for years’ statement, the fact that most of the ‘bad’ human-creatures have distinctly ‘nonwhite’ names...) but this review has gone on long enough, and you get the picture.This was a galley copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review.