Come on now, dystopia, again?
Dystopia decidedly different.
I've been a bookworm since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I've been a fan of sci-fi and horror since I was a teen (centuries ago, I'm 47) and in the last couple of years have become a big fan of dystopian stories.
This one intrigued me for two reasons - the author is British (as am I, despite that I live over here in the US) and the mechanism of this world-changing event is rather unique. No zombies, no plague, no bombs, just a quiet disappearance of most of the population.
How and with who the author starts the story really had me hooked. The main story takes place 40 years after this start, however, we are gifted with some of the best flashbacks (interludes here) I've read. Such a trope can be annoying in a story. Here it was anything but. Each time it added weight to the "now" and fleshed out the characters more whilst building up one of the big, bad mysteries today's survivors are dealing with.
As one might imagine, what we are mainly dealing with is humanity in all its ugliness but also its strength and drive to survive. Interestingly, one gets a sense (most of the time) that people actually value life now and don't throw it away easily.
There is a side-story that stretched the suspension of disbelief a little too far though I quickly came to care for the characters and I'm looking forward to how this piece will develop and tie in with the main arc.
Our main protagonist, Norman, is also a little unusual. He was born after the event so has no real experience of life before. He has been guided by a (very interesting) character who is from the Old World but at this point is doubting his wisdom, chafing at the idea that he is to be the next leader of our main group and is a rather reluctant hero.
Overall, interesting, enjoyable and intriguing. I almost felt as though I'd like the answers to what is happening NOW (especially with food) rather than the event itself, that is how clever the author is.
The sequel is already in my queue and I hear the third in the series is due to be released soon.
After the apocalypse, what would you save? What would you fight for?Decades after the apocalypse, a group of survivors struggling to stop the dawn of a new dark age, inadvertently spark a war with a country in the grips of famine, and encounter supernatural forces that might destroy the Old World forever.
Full SynopsisThe End cost humanity six billion lives. Almost every person vanished, the lights went out, computers turned to dust, and planes fell from the sky. The Vanished left behind a handful of scattered survivors, in a world made empty and quiet.
Forty years on, civilization is failing. The ways of the Old World are being forgotten, and the original survivors are ageing. All that stands between the British Isles and a new Dark Age is the mission of New Canterbury, desperate to save the books, technology and knowledge needed to begin again.
Famine has forced refugees to wander in their thousands. Anger against the city's hoarding of resources is growing. In the wild lands surrounding New Canterbury, old grudges fester, and supernatural forces have awoken. Somewhere, an army is on the move, hell-bent on ending the Old World forever.
The End was just the beginning.