What a nice post-apocalypse book. A lovely balance of heavy and hopeful. Not too slow, but not too intense. Action here and there, but not an overwhelming amount. A sweet story without brushing over the gravity and seriousness of the situations and the complexity of the emotions.
The story was kind of meandering, in a way that made sense for a post-apoc story. The characters found each other, and then they just kind of took things as they came, adapted when the world threw difficulties at them, found new purposes in their new life, and tried to do good and find safety. I was content to sit back and just go on the journey with them.
Andrew and Jamie were easy characters to like and feel for, and their romance was slow-building and sweet and well-balanced with the rest of the story.
In his note, the author talked about how he wrote this because he wanted more queer rep in post-apoc fiction. But, though it was small, I also appreciated that the book touched upon the idea that elderly and disabled people’s lives have value too.
The author also talked about how the real Covid pandemic that happened influenced the book (which I believe he said he started in 2015). And I could feel a bit of that influence, not so much in the few Covid mentions, but in how the way things played out in this fictional pandemic felt believable and based on things that have actually happened.
This isn’t a book about sickness and death though. This story starts when the “super flu” has mostly or entirely passed, and the survivors are left to pick up the pieces and try to not just survive but also live. (Though there is still talk of a pandemic and losing loved ones, so do keep that in mind if those things will be upsetting for you.)
The audiobook narration by both Barrett Leddy (Andrew’s POV) and Andrew Gibson (Jamie’s POV) was great. They sounded natural and made it easy to tell characters apart. I also appreciated how they voiced characters similarly across narration (e.g. the way Barrett Leddy voiced Jamie was similar to Andrew Gibson’s narration/voice for Jamie, and vice versa). I enjoyed the audio.
Overall, this was a serious but lovely post-apoc book with a sweet queer romance and a hopeful story.
Anyone who likes YA, sweet and slow-building queer romance, and serious but hopeful post-apocalypse books.