Unrelenting darkness, despair, and hopelessness. How could I give this five stars? Because it tore me up. It made me feverish with desire for the tiniest speck of hope – right along with the characters. I felt them completely, and that translates to a profoundly engaging experience. Most importantly, it made me love our beautiful planet with a depth I’ve never known. If you’re not prone to depression, I highly recommend this inexorably bleak, horrifically moving novel.