Sunday, September 6, 2015

Review: The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy


Sorry... it takes me so long to finish books now days but I had to see this one through to the end. There's something about Benjamin Percy's writing that draws readers in. He's descriptive and paints the portrait vividly of a dystopian world that's been ruined by a flu-like disease. I was hoping The Dead Lands was a sequel to Red Moon which I enjoyed (for the most part). So SPOILER ALERT: It isn't! Insert sad face here.

The Dead Lands is the story of a group of people who choose to escape the Sanctuary's fortress in hope that there is life outside of that hell. They expect their journey will lead to a new less hellish hell. I mean really, the world is ruined, could there really be a land of milk and honey somewhere? Chances are there aren't, but the hope of that discovery keeps me flipping electronic pages and caring deeply for the characters who brave the dead lands.

What's so captivating about The Dead Lands are the characters. Percy holds nothing back in his efforts to create characters who are alive and breathing. And the irony of the names Lewis and Clark are not lost on me Mr. Percy... I digress at times.

Although I loved most of the characters, Lewis was by far my favorite. His thirst for knowledge and preserving the history of the past places him on the Mayor's watch list despite their friendship many moons ago. We witness Lewis battle all his own personal handicaps in an effort to explore the world outside of the Sanctuary. 

There's also Gawea... and Clark... and... actually all the characters you come across in this book are interesting, fully fleshed, and real. Although it took me forever to read this book it wasn't because it was boring at any point. I just have a very busy life. There isn't any point where the novel slowed just to expound a character. The novel reads at a steady pace that allows readers like me who read in short intervals to jump right back in and feel like I'd never left at all.

The Dead Lands is definitely a worthwhile read about hope and the human condition in the worse possible circumstances. Fans of Red Moon should give this book a go. I didn't have any gripes with this book which is very surprising. It was quite a journey of life in the dead lands.  ****

Copy provided by Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley

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