Courtesy of Smash Attack ReadsInterest in Book: I remember first seeing the cover. It spoke loudly to me. READ ME, it said. I think those eyes hypnotize you...*blinks* Then I read the blurb, and post-apocalyptic/dystopia being a favorite genre of mine, I just knew I had to let those powerful eyes have their way...World-Building: Intense only brushes the surface of this world. Everything starts out normally. People are going about their day, living life, enjoying breathing. Then...BAM! Earthquakes topping the Richter scale rip apart the globe. Multiple schools are bombed. Life everywhere is perishing at an alarmingly fast rate. The survivors of these atrocities are in shock, wounded, terrified. When they see their neighbors and friends, they plead for help, though help is the last thing they receive. Instead, more blood is shed as these once normal humans are now infected with the worst kind of disease: evil. Those immune to these twisted, macabre and horrific ideas of fun flee into the wide open, doing their best to remain one step ahead of their relentless, murderous pursuers. On the surface, the world-building appears simple. But deep down, the rules of the game have changed drastically. Right and wrong , as well as love and hate, are hard to discern.Characters: The four young protagonists of this hellish existence all start out in different places. I really loved the four different perspectives. I'm a fan of multiple POVs, in general, as it allows us an intimate view of each character. Mason, Aries (but she's a Gemini), Clementine and Michael all start out in very different scenarios. Their experiences and personalities are quite different, but one thing that drives them toward each other is the sheer will to survive. They meet different people along the way, both evil and not, who have lasting effects. Mason, in my opinion, is teetering on the edge between good and evil. Michael is struggling with his perceived cowardice, Aries does not want to be the leader everyone expects her to be, and dear Clementine just wants to find her brother. And then there is Daniel, who appears to be something...more. I foresee interesting things from that guy.And then we have Nothing. Nothing pops up occasionally during the book, with their chilling views of the world. We don't know much about Nothing, although one can deduce that Nothing is the nothingness that eats away at our souls. The evil and horror that infect our hearts. Using this concept as a character is brilliant. The addition of this voice into the multiple perspectives really brought out the creep-factor. It added to the tone and the overall spine-tingling, chill-inducing effect.Lasting Impressions: Holy awesome to the sauce, people! Your intense emotions will keep you glued to the pages as your heart palpitations and sweaty hands add to the experience. I compare this book to a grisly automobile accident where you slow down as you pass, unable to remove your eyes from the horror. You will not be able to put this book down! It reminds me of a YA-version of The Stand by Stephen King, though we have not yet met Randall Flagg. Or have we...?Favorite Quote:"There are different types of people in the world. There are people who accept what's in front of them unquestioningly. They live in the dark. In defeat. Ignoring what the future might bring or how they might help to make things happen. Then there are people like me. Optimists. They too live in the dark, in times like these, but dream of the light. I trust in the possibilities of betterness. I believe there is more to life than this. I have to. There's no other choice for me."