Brother and sister Jack and Emily and their friends Lucy Anne, Sparky and Jenna are on their own. Their families were either killed or are presumed dead after London was destroyed by a horrible terrorist attack known as Doomsday, which turned it into a toxic wasteland closed off from the rest of the world.
No one is supposed to have survived, but Jack, Emily, and Jenna still have hope that some family member may have survived. For Jack and Emily, it might be their father and/or their mother, while Jenna has a brother who could still be alive.
So when they meet an elderly woman named Rosemary under mysterious circumstances, who has unusual powers of healing, they accept her offer to lead them into the city on a dangerous journey to discover the truth.
For there are still humans in London, but they are changed. All who lived have developed special powers, like comic book heroes. Some can manipulate others, or foresee the future, or do other supernatural things, Some use these new powers for good and some for evil, and some have been driven crazy by the change.
Plenty of action and adventure ensues as the young people meet unusual characters, struggle to survive, and take on the Choppers, the special forces who guard the city and attempt to destroy the surviving citizens.
Lebbon has done an excellent job of creating his London wasteland and the inhabitants of it. He keeps the plot moving at a rapid pace. This first book in the series will certainly keep readers young and old interested and leave them anxious for the next book.
Fans of The Hunger Games should enjoy this book as well, and parents who felt that book was appropriate for their mature teen should feel comfortable with this one as well as it has a similar amount of mature subject matter and violence.