SFF

Bannerless

John Joseph Adams: Houghton Harcourt. Jul. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780544947306. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780544947634. SF
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Decades after technological and economic failure, the United States has become a dystopian society of mandated households and governed by committee rule and population control. To be proven fit to bear children, households are awarded banners, showing they prosper in these tough times. Enid lives in Haven and is an Investigator who settles disputes along the Coast Road region. While young for her job, she has resolved some minor disturbances successfully. Called in to examine a suspicious death in Pasadan, Enid travels with her mentor and enforcer Tomas to discover that the deceased Sero was an outcast, and that the village committee and residents all have nothing to say, leading Enid to probe further. Armed with the history of the world's demise and rebirth, Enid works to discover what Pasadan is hiding. Her revelations will ultimately lead to questioning the rules of the universe itself.
VERDICT Urban fantasy author Vaughn (Dreams of the Golden Age) switches gears with this compelling deft postapocalpytic tale.

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