Wow. I picked this up Saturday morning and didn't want to put it down until I finished it last night. I had a friend visiting, and any moment she was away (rest room at the restaurant, shower at home), I was reading. It's positively horrific, but you can't not keep reading--you are automatically attached to this main character who wants to live, despite the meager existence she ekes out at home. This is a meditation on power, on owing someone, on humanity, love, the evils of tv-whims, and on what the future holds. Though it's part of a trilogy, it's not the kind of book that doesn't stand on its own.