Much has changed in America in the past two decades. After a very virulent flu has wiped out two thirds of the population, the survivors are working to establish a new lifestyle. Some have adopted a nomadic approach where they search for salvage, roaming hundreds to thousands of miles each year. Others have settled in small enclaves where they barricade themselves from marauders and neighbouring settlements.
Fifteen year old Stephen Quinn has spent his life on the road. With his grandfather recently dead and his father seriously injured, he is forced to accept the help of strangers. They blindfold him and take him to their home. When he looks at this settlement he feels he has entered a hidden paradise. A slice of pre-plague America. For the first time in his life, Stephen sleeps in a bed in a well kept traditional house in a tidy subdivision.
This was a very believable scenario. There are enough details of the plague to accept that it could have happened, but not so many that the reader will get caught in the details. It made total sense that the buildings of Settlers Landing could have survived intact, just waiting for it's next residents.
In this post-apocalyptic world, Stephen has to determine why total strangers have invited him to live among them. Are they truly kind people or do they have some hidden agenda. The residents of Settlers Landing have a similar problem, can they trust each other, and can they learn to co-operate with the neighbouring settlement for protection against a common enemy.
I found this book a very enjoyable read. The main characters came to life for me; I felt as though I would recognize them if I were to visit Settlers Landing. This would be a good selection for your teenage reader.
Visit author Jeff Hirsch's website for information about this debut novel.
Thanks to Chapters.ca for use of the cover image.