The Dead Lands - YA Review by Eli S-M

Reader: Eli S-M
Age: 15
Title: The Dead Lands
Author: Benjamin Percy
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub Date: 04/14/15
Galley: No
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I would highly recommend this book. The setting- a post-apocalyptic America that has regressed, for the most part, to the technologies of the early 1800s- was unique and original. The characters were well fleshed out and every one developed over the course of the book, realistically changed by the journey they took. Perhaps most importantly, the Dead Land's multiple plot lines were exciting and well handled. The book changes fluidly between the main expedition, the situation in their corrupt home city, and one character's backstory. The switching allows the book to remain tense and quick-moving even as the expedition travels over vast stretches of uninhabited land.
Memorable or Forgettable: The originality of the setting made this book memorable to me. The apocalyptic flu mutation has occurred long ago and civilization has become close to what is was in the early 1800s. The old world, however, continues to effect the rustic milieu. Radiation from nuclear weapons and unattended reactors has scarred the landscape, making the "dead lands" strange and fantastic places - places just as strange and fantastic as the western US must have once seemed to Lewis and Clark. The irradiated landscape also drives the plot through the development of mutant powers. In this way, the unique landscape serves not just as a backdrop for the story - it is perhaps the most important part of the story itself.
Cover: The cover neither tempted me to read the book nor turned me off. It does reflect the book's contents, but is not unique to them.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q - Better than most
Popularity: 3P - Some teen appeal

tags:  futuristic thriller / post-apocalyptic adventure / Lewis and Clark / ya lit

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