4.5 stars for me...Slow start, but from the first freak attack on, it was fabulous. I can't say enough good things about this one. Like I said, from the beginning it appeared the book was going to suffer the sophomore slump - but Ann comes through! Deuce, Fade, Stalker, and the gimpy girl have been living in Salvation for awhile when the book starts. All of them have been placed with different families that have been sheltered from life outside the walls. The four main characters, all have the knowledge/wisdom of living on their own basically. So, it is hard for them to adjust - except Gimpy. They do finally, end up making the adjustment by busying themselves with learning a new skill. Gimpy becomes a field nurse, Stalker has been learning weaponry, Fade has been tending the horses, and Deuce is trying to learn how to be a dressmaker. Deuce applies herself, but in the end she is acutely aware of the imminent threat of the zombies and volunteers to join the guards that protect the city. Well, all four end up manning the Outpost for the growing season and barely scrape by the skin of their teeth to make it back to Salvation before the town is overrun. This book is action packed, just the right amount of romance, plus there were several things I didn't see coming...I love it when that happens! And, it ended very well...Recommended by Regina.