Simply put, The Garden of Darkness is the best book that I have read in a long time. It takes a familiar idea--what if there was a huge, deadly pandemic?--and takes it down a fascinating route. Most of the book is about Clare and Jem’s group, but every few chapters are devoted to Master, which I thought was very clever. It helped the plot move along faster, and also gives a deliciously nasty sense of foreboding to the story. The plot is relatively straightforward--get to Master and don’t die along the way. However, a series of unexpected occurrences and new members to the pack make sure that they reader never becomes bored. The characters are incredibly realistic, not clichéd; for example, Clare loves to read. I almost wished that I was on the journey with them! While there was a romance, it did not overwhelm the really important parts of the story; rather, it served as a foil to all of the horrors around them. A post-apocalyptic novel with dramatic twists and intriguing ideas, The Garden of Darkness is bound to be popular among those who wonder about the borders between life, death, and insanity.