Little, Brown. Jul. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780316250818. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316250825. F
Two years ago, Frida and Cal made their way out of Los Angeles to live in seclusion, off the land, away from the violence of terrorists such as the Group, which tore the world apart, and the Communities, which cater to only the wealthiest clientele. They have adapted to their new lives, but when Frida becomes pregnant they worry for the safety of their unborn child. Not far from their cabin is a settlement called the Land, which is purported to be unwelcoming to visitors. Despite their reservations, Frida and Cal make their way there, hoping to find assistance if not acceptance. What they discover is both surprising and unsettling.
VERDICT While this debut novel has some potential as a disturbing postapocalyptic thriller, it stumbles in its execution. The characters don't evoke a lot of sympathy and the ambiguous ending leaves readers hanging. [A July LibraryReads pick; Stephen Colbert promoted the book as a response to the Amazon-Hachette dispute (—Ed.]
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