(blurb from Amazon)
In 2012, the Plague ended the world as we know it. In 2130, Charlinder wants to know why. The origin of the disease remains a mystery. Their ignorance of its provenance fuels a growing schism that threatens to destroy the peace that the survivors' descendants have built. Unwilling to wait for matters to get any worse, he decides to travel to where the Plague first appeared and find out the truth—which means walking across three continents before returning home. Charlinder has never been more than ten miles from home, has never heard anyone speak a foreign language, and he's going it alone. He survives thousands of miles of everything from near-starvation to near-madness before he meets Gentiola. By then he’s so exhausted that the story she offers to tell seems like little more than a diversion...until he hears it. Nothing could have prepared him for what he learns from her, and no one ever told him: be careful what you wish for. The world is a much bigger place than Charlinder knew, and his place in it is a question he never asked before.
A Reader's Opinion
I'm not going to give details as most would contain spoilers and the blurb does an excellent job summarizing what the book is about. I liked the idea behind the book and thought the story an interesting one. I want to say right off that I don't normally read books set in the future, so understand from where my opinion is coming. During the first few chapters I thought perhaps this might have been a young adult book, but as it progressed it clearly wasn't. What I liked most about this book was Charlinder's journey and once he began his 'walk' the story drew me in a bit more. The author's imagination and attention to detail cannot be missed. Charlinder is an interesting character and you'll likely find yourself encouraging him along as he experiences struggles, adventures, and meeting new people. I'd have to say that his travels were the best parts of the book for me and what I found most engaging. The author does a good job letting you see the journey through Charlinder's eyes.
Know that this is a long book (400+ pages), and there were times that it felt long and I'll admit that I struggled to get through it - not so much from the length, but because I felt it could have been condensed in some places. I honestly don't remember most of the secondary characters except for Uncle Roy-he's a likeable sort. I couldn't get into the idea about the new kind of family unit developed in this world-it was just too off for my personal tastes and seemed farfetched because no matter how much the world develops, I can't see it happening, but again, it's a new world the author has created and she did a great job creating it. The author has a unique writing style, and with the exception of a few places, she kept the story moving along at a good pace.
Who would I recommend this book to? Though the book isn't my cream and butter, it is a great dystopian-style read and so anyone interested in that genre would likely find this book an enjoyable book.
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About the author: Alyson Miers was born into a family of compulsive readers and thought it would be fun to get on the other side of the words. She attended Salisbury University, where she majored in English Creative Writing for some reason, and minored in Gender Studies. In 2006, she did the only thing a 25-year-old with a B.A. in English can do to pay the rent: joined the Peace Corps. At her assignment of teaching English in Albania, she learned the joys of culture shock, language barriers and being the only foreigner on the street, and got Charlinder off the ground. She brought home a completed first draft in 2008 and, between doing a lot of other stuff such as writing two other books, she managed to ready it for publication in 2011. She regularly shoots her mouth off at her blog, The Monster's Ink, when she isn't writing fiction or holding down her day job. She lives in Maryland with her computer and a lot of yarn. Connect with Alyson on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.