There is a short story behind my getting my hands on this book. In my usual eagerness to jump on books that look interesting, I requested a version on NetGalley before I found out that I was being granted access to a sampler! What would I do with a part of a dystopian novel and knowing what I know now, it would have been a tragedy of the highest order. Somewhere down the line before its publication day came by (next week), I passed by the complete version and requested that too and thankfully it was accepted and it replaced the sampler. This whole incident did teach me to be more careful. Although this is an ARC and I am glad I got a chance to read the book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, this review is purely based only on my reading experience.
There are many books out there with dystopian situations that predict one or the other forms of gloom to descend on to the planet. This has such a situation but that is not what the book is about, it is just the background. The world as we know it has ended and Griz is introducing us and familiarizing us with their daily routine in this new lonelier world. He lives with his family on an island and they survive together as a team.
It seems rosy enough and everyone is reasonably happy in their daily routine, until the arrival of a stranger in their midst. This one incident breaks the usual ‘monotony’ of their lives and in one breath an irreversible decision is taken. Griz sets off to get something back as well as the festering adventure in his heart. He is older than his age having lived vicariously through multiple books and his narration (directly to us) reflects this situation. It is a treacherous journey with more than one thing to go wrong, it has vivid imagery of the adventures and the lives of the people who once lived in the ‘before’. Most situations described are almost fleeting instances in the bigger picture but they stay as individual anecdotes in the whole tale. There are things placed in the book that took me by complete surprise which I would not deign to call simply ‘twists’ and they enhanced the story. I really enjoyed the book and the only reason I cannot give it a full five stars is because I wanted more. The ending left hope within me and I think just one book to round up the tale would not go amiss.