My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - on and off for 4 days
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Pages - 416
Blurb from Goodreads
In Benjamin Percy's new thriller, a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga, a super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary-the remains of St. Louis-a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders.
Then a rider comes from the wasteland beyond its walls. She reports on the outside world: west of the Cascades, rain falls, crops grow, civilization thrives. But there is danger too: the rising power of an army that pillages and enslaves every community they happen upon.
Against the wishes of the Sanctuary, a small group sets out in secrecy. Led by Lewis Meriweather and Mina Clark, they hope to expand their infant nation, and to reunite the States. But the Sanctuary will not allow them to escape without a fight.
A brutal opening, a woman in labour, her husband slaughtered and just after she gives birth she is dragged out and the child left alone on the bed. Chapter one takes us immediately inside the wall, guarded with knives and bows, there are no guns inside the wall, inside Sanctuary. Things of the world we know it is long gone, a museum holds items that once had value in the world. Since the super flu and nuclear fallout, humans are thin in number, mutants and the aftermath from both make it unsafe to be outside. Sanctuary is ruled by the new major, Thomas Lancer who pleases himself and cares not much about his people. His confident and childhood friend Lewis Meriweather is a master with creations and Thomas wants weapon to further his hold on his people. When a visitor comes from outside Sanctuary bringing hope that there is life outside of the wall, a small group led by Meriweather breaks out to what they hope is a better life, but is it?
Lewis has an inner power, he is intelligent and wants to believe Gawea, the outsider, that Aran Burr has sent her, can offer a new life and help him with his powers. The rest of his group want something better, freedom and follow him through danger to get it. The journey is dangerous, mutants will threaten their lives and the group will discover that Gawea may not have been 100 percent honest in what she claims.
The story is a post apocalyptic style story, it features friendship, love, betrayal, murder, loss, sex and violence to name a few of the themes. The story pulled me in to begin with and it takes you through an arduous journey for many of the characters. An interesting read although I would have enjoyed it more had there been a bit more story behind the powers, mutations, flu and construction of the Sanctuary. 3/5 for me this time, my first time reading this author, I would read this author again. Thanks so much to BookBridgr for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.