Oh, my god. Thank you Julie Kagawa, for restoring my faith in YA vampire fiction. After the nightmare that was Twilight, I find myself stuck in a glut of Mary-Sueish clones, until Richelle Mead (AKA She Who Can Do No Wrong) and now Julie Kagawa brought the genre back to life. No pun intended, of course.Let me just say that I was not a fan of Julie Kagawa before this. I read most of her Iron Fey series, and while it was well-written, it did not draw me in. So in as much as I admire her writing, her storylines did not interest me, and even though it's been released for awhile, I resisted reading it because of my previous history with her books. Finally, in a desperate night with nothing to read, I bought this book and I am so glad I did. This ranks among the best YA books I've ever read.Allison---what a character. Julie Kagawa has a kack for writing female characters that don't suck (besides that annoying girl in The Lost Prince), and Allison is no different. She is so strong, she is a survivor, and she has to be, given where she has grown up. Also, not completely strong, she has a soft spot, especially for strays. I was so sad for her when her well-intentioned actions backfired on her...oh man, that scene with Stitch broke my heart. The world building is tremendous, one of the best depictions of a post-apocalyptic worlds I've ever read. I love the characters, the dimensions they have, their weaknesses and strengths that keep them multi-dimensional. I'm waiting with bated breath for the next book, and I'm kicking myself for waiting this long to read this fantastic novel.