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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Dull and poorly written

    After the apocalypse, a group of people go live in the last remaining wilderness. They pair up then get jealous. They argue about whether there should be leaders or a democracy. They walk around, set up camps, hunt, cook, wash. One leaves then comes back. New people arrive. They all leave. The end. The writing style is very poor - clunky and dull, the novel far too long, and the characters unappealing.

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  • Starts with a bang, ends with a wimper

    This book has a great setting and premise, with so much potential. There is so much that can be explored here, with how nomadic people interact with the natural world, the relationships between people and the future of humanity (and nature) on a polluted and abused planet. I enjoyed the overall story of the book (mostly) but found the writing clumsy in detail, with far too many americanisms - I had to look up loads of words, and the rare (three or four ish?) sentences in ?Spanish ?Portugese were totally misjudged with no supporting context to help the reader get what point was being made here. **Spoilers below** The story starts with a bang, and we really get an insight into the mind of Bea, her mixed feelings about her daughter(s) and the brutality of life and love in the New Wilderness. Then it takes an odd turn when Agnes becomes narrator, and there's a wide disconnect between the young girl previously described - who wondered if Carl made the dust storm happen - and the Agnes who is apparently worldly wise and able to measure her own 'strangeness' even with no other children her age or reference points from the outside world. It feels a bit contrived, and sadly there are so many missed opportunities for twists, depth or expansion. We're left with a fairly insipid mimic of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, with no explanation of why the same handful of rangers are apparently staffing every post across this vast wilderness that takes years to walk across. Glen has so much to offer as a character, but is forgotten about and written out as convenience. Why is the ending so rushed? Seasons pass in mere sentences, and the final scene is odd and mis-aligned with the rest of the book. If The City is as bad as described, the resettlement just doesn't fit with that. Overall, I found this a fairly easy read, it's good enough to get through in a week, but not gripping or inspiring enough to be devoured in a single sitting.

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