I'll give it 4.5 stars.I really enjoyed this one. You don't get into the characters' heads very much, but that's OK. The theme for this one is survival."She was thirty-five, and she did not look a minute younger." This was right in the beginning of the book and I knew I would love it and the character after that line. There's something to be said for having a character set in life, or at least, into the daily routine of work and family and then uprooting all of that. Briar Wilkes is the daughter of an infamous folk hero (revered by the downtrodden) and the wife of the man who destroyed Seattle, turning it into a toxic gas-filled (and zombie-filled) enclave. Briar lives just outside the wall around Seattle with her son, Zeke. Both have had to live with the stigma of their family legacy. Briar survives, working long hours and keeping everything bottled up. Zeke becomes obsessed with the idea of clearing the family name, so he goes into Seattle to find answers. Briar follows him and now the real survivor game starts.They meet airship captains (it can't be steampunk without airships), the inhabitants of the city, and a despotic villain, all the while keeping away from the zombies. I liked seeing how everyone managed to eke out a living, how they could go on; I really enjoyed the worldbuilding. The main motivation is staying alive, so you could never really trust anyone. Lots of action, fun characters, and I want to read the next one. I also liked comparing the 2 "quests": Eli is trying to gain something, the usual coming-of-age quest, while his mother is trying desperately not to lose. This made it a very different experience for me.I've seen this described as YA, and I can see that, what with half of book coming from a 15 year old's POV. However, given that his mother had equal time (something not usually seen in the YA world), I can't call it a YA book. After reading the next book in this series, I'm going to say that it is a series easily read by both teens and adults. I also want to rent the old Wild Wild West TV show DVD.