The coolest thing about Megan Duncan's Released is the mere fact that the characters seemed to be around before and during the "apocalypse." I mean, compared to most dystopian books out there, it's generations - at least to the point where the people are used to the way the new things are and are basically happy with the way everything is.
At least, until something bad happens. Then the ball gets rolling, the main character starts to question everything, s/he probably meets the love of their life, they find more rebels, they join the rebellion, they take down the government and start all over again! And maybe, just maybe, there will be a happily ever after.
That sort of depends on what the author is up to. I'm no mind reader, of course, and I'd rather not be a mind reader because as much as that sounds really cool, I would probably go insane reading everyone's thoughts. If that ever happens, I demand to be home-schooled. That way... I can try and control it before testing my tolerance out in the world.
I had also hoped there would be zombies involved from the way the demons were described, but really, the so-called zombies were... demons. (That was before the demon part was revealed.)
The uncoolest thing about Released is the mere fact the book starts heading in a romance like direction at like, 15% of the book. At the time, it wasn't terribly a problem because it wasn't as obvious to the point where I can hear the character implying, "OMG HE'S SO HOT AND I WANT TO TAKE HIS CLOTHES OFF". Yes, that's happened. In a Young Adult book no less (I DNFed it before my eyes came upon awkwardness and lost its purity). Another had a sex scene. Graphic and all. If you want my blogger horror stories, maybe I'll plan one for Halloween next year. Snarky and Sarcastic Sophia is likely to appear.
Here's where it actually becomes a semi-big problem: a character just enters the book – the entire picture! – and the main character is like, "Oooo, I think she's gotta a crush on him!" AFTER said person crushing on a person decided to help out during an attack... which is what I really don't get. Said person could just have a kind heart and soul. I mean, this is the "apocalypse!" Isn't this about surviving and trusting virtually no one?
Released, however, is very fast paced. Action, action, action. Hoorah! But despite the fast pace – has its perks sometimes, but not always a good thing (Sophia likes details. She wants to know the characters like the back of her hand) – I feel like I'm reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road again. Just with names and not "the man" or "the boy." I'm obviously not planning to stick around only to find out all the main characters die except for one*. Sounds very Hamlet-y, doesn't it (Best required literature read of last year.)? The fast-paced first book in the Agents of Evil series will most likely be great for those who want to go through a book fast enough and don't pay attention to the details, OR they have much more patience than me.
*Note: Whether or not the characters actually die at the end of the series is unknown to me. I also had better books to look forward to.