Book Title: Amongst The Ruins (The Chronicles of 2020 Book 1)
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Science Fiction
Author: Saewood Tice
Date Published: 1 September 2013
In the year 2220, only about 15% of Earth's population have survived and thrived after the Nuclear Disaster of 2020.
With the collapse of modern society, the population has regressed into eight clans. Amongst these clans, an unusual girl grows from child to adult.
Raised on the run and in hiding, Shilo wants to be free of the expectations of women.
But in a ruined world where anyone could be an enemy, only the radiation-twisted mutants are clearly identifiable. A fertile female is a precious treasure, and any lapse in caution can mean a loss of the freedom she longs for.
Training as hard as a soldier would, in order to free herself from social constraints, she finds herself faced with an offer from a new clan--an offer that provides her with what she desires. But her recently found independence brings discovery, and discovery brings two very different men from her past—and each of them is determined to claim her.
One is obsessed with owning her, the other desires her as the only person who can make him love again.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is the first book in a post-apocalyptic dystopian series. I really enjoyed it!
Shiloh is a young girl of 12 when we first meet her. The story follows her life until she reaches the age of 14, when her life changes forever. By the time she is 17 things get even more interesting. Her life is not an easy one, but I found her to be very resourceful and brave, as well as incredibly stubborn. I liked her very much, but on the odd occasion, I wanted to shake her (or slap her) for being such a hardheaded, stubborn-as-a-mule woman, who couldn't see what was in front of her eyes until it was too late! Her "I am woman, hear me roar" attitude did grate on me at times. I admired her independent streak, but as the saying goes "pride goes before a fall"; a little humility from her wouldn't have come amiss.
This is a very interesting story. I started to read the book and was quickly pulled in. I didn't put the book down until I had finished it, and then sat for a bit, trying to process all that had happened.
This story is set in 2220 and is full of twists and turns. A apocalyptic event in the past has decimated the human population, and the nuclear fall out has created mutations and infertility. The remaining humans have banded together into eight clans, each with their own rules. The girls in the clan that Shiloh and her family are camping with are destined to become wives or concubines and mothers by age 13. Life is not easy by any means, but when Shiloh and her mother, Kahrn, her brother, Adley and her sister, Mazy are taken in by General Vahn from another clan, things begin to look up.
The story is a real roller coaster ride from beginning to end. This is a unique take on a dystopian society. There are some really fantastic characters. I loved Adley. He is very protective of his family and has a wonderful personality. But, I think my heart belongs to Kain, the general's son. He is very intense and brooding, but he also has a huge heart. He can be a bit domineering, but I think Shiloh needs someone like Kain to temper her impetuousness. I loved watching the relationship between them grow. They are well suited. I also liked Jin, the martial arts teacher at the camp of the general's. He is wise and extremely kind. However, there is one character whom I didn't like. His name is Elrik. He is not the most likable person; he is the possessive and jealous type. He actually made my skin crawl. There are some other interesting characters, which brought the story to life. The descriptions of the places and people were quite vivid, and I could "see" the scenes very clearly in my mind's eye. The story crescendos with a huge battle, and I found myself in tears. I will not say why, you will just have to read the book for yourself to find out. However, I will say that this story ends on a cliffhanger. I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers, but I am now looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Saewood Tice has written a compelling, totally absorbing and thrilling post-apocalyptic dystopian novel. I loved her fast paced writing style. I did feel that some scenes were not as fluid as they could have been, but overall the flow was wonderful.
Due to violence, and some scenes of a sensual nature which are a little on the explicit side, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under 17, or those of a sensitive nature. However, I do recommend this book if you love post-apocalyptic or dystopian genres. - Lynn Worton
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