This book stars out really slow (I thought I was going to give up on it for a while) but quickly picks up when the race starts. It's got a Hunger Games feel to it, although not everyone has to die, quite a few do. The land has mostly been gone for 100 years and the floaters the people are living on are failing - this chance to own some land on the only island left is their last hope and they're willing to kill (or die) for the chance.
I was bothered by it becoming a blood bath because that wasn't the original idea - the owner of the land just wanted people to collect the markers and get back to the starting line but one of his aides changed the deal - survival of the fittest.
I made the mistake of reading Land Hold's summary, so I already knew who was going to live (come to think of it, I did the same when reading the first Hunger Games book). That means I kind of already knew what was going to happen in this one, at least in general terms of who lived and who didn't.
Now that I think about it, there was even a Career alliance in this book - although they were from former military boats who have become more like bullies then soldiers. I hadn't thought about that until just now.