Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book review - The Road to Winter

Title: The Road to Winter
Author: Mark Smith
Genre: post-apocalypse
Similar books: Parched by Melanie Crowder
                      The Road by Cormac McCarthy
a good level of tension

Summary (provided by publisher): Since a deadly virus and the violence that followed wiped out his parents and most of his community, Finn has lived alone on the rugged coast with only his dog Rowdy for company.
He has stayed alive for two winters—hunting and fishing and trading food, and keeping out of sight of the Wilders, an armed and dangerous gang that controls the north, led by a ruthless man named Ramage.
But Finn’s isolation is shattered when a girl runs onto the beach. Rose is a Siley—an asylum seeker—and she has escaped from Ramage, who had enslaved her and her younger sister, Kas. Rose is desperate, sick, and needs Finn’s help. Kas is still missing somewhere out in the bush.
And Ramage wants the girls back—at any cost.
Finn, Rose and Kas try their hardest to look after each other in the harsh post-apocalyptic world. They suffer setbacks, difficulties brought on by adults but also sometimes as a consequence of their own poor decisions. They’re kids—they make mistakes. They stuff up but they find a way through. There are no superheroes, no magical powers to help them out of life-threatening situations.
A novel about honor, friendship and love, and a gripping realist teen survival narrative.

My opinion: Think of this book as The Road meets The Children of Men, though appropriate for teens. The interesting thing to me is that this post-apocalyptic novel doesn't show society devolving. It has devolved. We get, instead, the attempt of the remnant to live in the aftermath. Teen fiction tends to show the down fall. This is a more adult approach. It works surprisingly well. While listings for this book make it clear that this is the first in a series, it stands fairly well. Additionally, the writing has a distinctly foreign feel but is not so foreign as to be distancing. A solid choice for teens interested in survival.

More information: The Road to Winter releases June 13.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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