This story imagines a return of the plague and we see its impact on a rehabilitation center for juvenile delinquents. One day when the guards don’t show up, the residents begin to wonder what is going on in the world and are forced to investigate and find a way to survive.
We get quite the motley crew of characters, some who are actual criminals, some who have done morally questionable things to survive and some who are imprisoned due to circumstances. The one thing that connects them is that society had hope to rehabilitate them, well, until the pandemic started. I liked the different POVs for each chapter and the interspersing of information from the outside world. I always love a what if situation and I thought these kids were a great microcosm of society. They faced hard moments and didn’t always triumph but they kept their hope and persevered.
My main issues were that there were way too many characters introduced very fast. Also the end left me a little wanting. I get why it ended where it did but the epilogue needed a little more world context for me.
It’s a little Lord of the Flies, a little Walking Dead and makes for a compelling read.
Thanks to Netgalley for access to an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.
What’s your favorite dystopian read?