I read this book a while back.
I was so underwhelmed I didn’t even consider buying the second book.
I was going to do a post about it, but it turns out someone already hit every single point I was going to make except two.
Screen Junkies nailed it on that one.
I will add the following:
Writing Craft: If you cannot say your made-up swear word, in public, without offending someone or getting locked up, it isn’t a very good swear. If you just make people roll their eyes and laugh at you, you shouldn’t include it period. Plunker is the most dipshit swear word I have encountered since Larry Niven committed tanstafl (supposedly derived from “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”) except no one would ever use it as a commentary, much less a swear word. Plunker, derived from toilet noises, would work only if the characters were under 11 instead of 16-18, and you weren’t going to ever get published.
Post-Apocalypse World-Building Fail: History has been through a number of apocalyptic or near-apocalyptic events. We’ve had several plagues kill the plurality of the world’s population. Let’s not forget ‘Eighteen Hundred and We All Froze to Death” (I’m not making it up, it’s a historical event oh global warming crowd). There was the bubonic plague, the Germanic migrations, Atilla the Hun, and Islam. All of those were pretty horrific, but the result, consistently in all of human history, has been for people to become more spiritual and religious instead of less. So every one of these godless post-apocalypses typically loses me right there to one degree or another.