I've never read any of Steven Savile's work before and the blurb intrigued me. I'm all for skilled and determined heroes and brainy and resourceful heroines (I call it "competence porn" for inept unexpert people like me), apocalyptic scenarios and secret bad guys with a dash of possibly metaphysical underpinnings so it had points for it before I even opened the book.
What I liked: I liked Jake Carter and Finn, the ancient language expert in the university. I liked Sophia, Jake's long-ago love interest. The action was non-stop and the dangers and blockades thrown up against our stalwarts just kept piling up, great. I even liked not really knowing what was going on for most of the book - because Jake didn't either. About 7/8ths of the way through I started wondering if it was first in a series because I couldn't see how it was all going to be resolved, even though nothing on the cover suggested a series. My intuition was confirmed in the last chapter.
What wasn't so great: I'm a raging liberal, myself, but even I got a little tired of the polemics (I mean "a little" literally - it didn't ruin anything for me). There seemed to be a lack of connecting the apocalyptic events like the dogs all running wild and the birds falling out of the sky, with anything else - aside from crowds gawking at the poor birds, society didn't seem to have any interest in the phenomena. And the secret goings-on once revealed, didn't even explain the title of the book. I think they could have picked a better title. However, This book kept me up until 3 a.m. because I couldn't stop before the end. It is a compelling read, I would put on a level with JK Rowling's writing talents (better than Dan Brown's DaVinci Code, which I did find myself reminded of at one point), one I really enjoyed and would recommend to anyone who likes this genre of novel.
All that said, I will definitely read the rest of the series, if there is one!