I just finished this book a few minutes ago. This is one of the best books I've ever read. I know that statement is a bit hyperbolic, but it is true. I want to start reading it again, right now. I found out about it because I read an interview with Stephen King and the person asked him his 5 favorite books from recent years. This was one of them, and I thought if he likes it, I probably will too.
It's long. It's 766 pages. It is a post-apocalyptic/vampire story. How could it not be good!?! It would be very tough to give a synopsis, because so much is involved in the story. It spans about 100 years and there are lots of different things going on, but it flows really well and is easy to follow. I'll just tell you a little bit. It begins with the Army developing a drug that they think will boost your immunity system and basically make you immune from all disease. Their theory is that people should be able to live for a very long time unless they are murdered, killed in an accident, etc. They get the drug from a species of bats in South America that attacked a group of scientists. The Army builds this huge bunker in Colorado and develops and tests the drug. The test subjects they use are death row inmates that are scheduled to die soon and have no family that will miss them. They use 12 of them and pluck them from the prisons and take them to the bunker in Colorado and inject them with the drug. And it goes very wrong. That is all I'm going to say about the plot, because it would be too spoilery if I said anything else.
I will say that the vampires or "virals" they call them are not really characters in the book. They kind of are, but they are not the narrators. The narrators are humans trying to survive and they are very likable and interesting. I hope at least one of you reads it so I can talk about it with someone. The book came out last year and is the first book of a trilogy. The second one will come out in 2012 and the third one in 2014. I'm so mad I discovered this book so early! I wish I could read the other two right now!