Grand Central. Sept. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781538723739. $16.99. SF
DEBUT In this near-future dystopian thriller, the assassination of a popular Black president by a white extremist leads to rioting, civil war, and economic collapse, followed by disease and famine. Leon Crane, a former NASA scientist but now a drifter without a home, hears a voice in his head. It’s a clarion call to purpose—go to Chicago and rescue a medical researcher who might have discovered the cure to much of what ails the world. Lakota medicine man Jacob Fire Cloud and young orphaned Amy Ladue also heed the call. They come together on an epic journey across a war-ravaged country to save the future. The shifting focus of the story on different characters allows the reader to experience the dying country even as the fight is on to save something from its ashes. This reissue of the 1997 post-apocalyptic thriller by Reading Rainbow’s Burton proves many of his predictions eerily close to coming true in the intervening years.
VERDICT This will be popular with fans of Burton’s acting and readers who like their dystopian novels to end on a slightly hopeful note.
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