This is a tough review. There were aspects of this book that I really enjoyed. I love the subject matter. I'm an end of the world story kinda person (sans zombies) and am always searching for the next good novel. But this book was tough to get into. In fact, I didn't think I'd get through the first 50 pages. The dialogue between the characters was at times elementary and frankly, quite cheesy. But I stuck to it, trying get to the meat of the dilemna -- will they make it and if so, how? Once about fifty pages in, I was in it. And I cared. The cheesy dialogue and forced conversations were still there but the meat was there too. I loved the details of the initial setup of their community, the organizational elements that they implemented, and the way they prioritized what was essential. Very interesting and I'm in it. Then about two thirds of the way through the book, the endless narrative about guard duty and what gun is what nearly lost me altogether. I sort of trudged my way to the end of the book, glad I read it but equally glad it was over. This was a very long book that shouldn't have been. The editors could have cut a solid third of this book and improved it greatly.
Not every conversation needs to be or should be written: "Good morning." "Good morning." "Would you like some breakfast?" "I would love some breakfast." Just basic examples of conversations that were written, for pages, that add absolutely nothing at all to the overall basis for the story. Same thing about guard duty and guard duty and guard duty -- you get the picture.
All right, so this review obviously conflicts with most of the others but it's just my honest opinion. I'd say that if a skilled editor got a hold of this diamond in the rough it'd be a 5 star book without a doubt. But until then, I'll point most of my friends in the direction of One Second After by William Forstchen.