The Savage Boy

The Savage Boy Book Cover The Savage Boy
Nick Cole
Post Apocalyptic
Harper Voyager
Feb 2013
E-book
303

The author of the acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel The Old Man and the Wasteland returns! Amid the remains of a world destroyed by a devastating Global Thermonuclear Armageddon, barbaric tribes rule the New American Dark Age. A boy and his horse must complete the final mission of the last United States soldier, and what unfolds is an epic journey across an America gone savage.

Review:
The Savage Boy tells the story of one man’s struggle to survive in a fallen world, forty years after a nuclear war left America in ruins.

Through the story, the Boy, a nomadic ‘savage,’ recalls the wisdom of Sgt. Presley, Boy’s mentor who trained him how to survive in a dark world. Presley’s ever-present voice guides Boy as he attempts to ‘not get involved’ in the affairs of others. Going against his mentor’s advice, Boy does get involved and pays a price for that involvement.

I will not elaborate much on what happens, but in this book we get to see a larger portion of the post-apocalyptic world Cole creates, including those responsible for America’s downfall. Like the Old Man in Wasteland, Cole develops the Boy character to great depth with skill. Even more, he creates a rounded character of Sgt. Presley through Boy’s memories of him.

If you’ve read The Old Man and the Wasteland (my review here), then you are familiar with Cole’s writing style. He isn’t pretentious but has a story to tell, and tells it well. He takes Boy through high and lows, up and downs, and the reader benefits from the experience.

The Savage Boy contains considerably more violence (human fighting and descriptions) than Wasteland.

The Old Man and the Wasteland

The Old Man and the Wasteland Book Cover The Old Man and the Wasteland
Nick Cole
Post Apocalyptic
Harper Voyager
Jan 2013
E-book
150

Part Hemingway, part Cormac McCarthy's The Road, a suspenseful odyssey into the dark heart of the post-apocalyptic American Southwest.

Forty years after the destruction of civilization, human beings are reduced to salvaging the ruins of a broken world. One survivor's most prized possession is Hemingway's classic The Old Man and the Sea. With the words of the novel echoing across the wasteland, a living victim of the Nuclear Holocaust journeys into the unknown to break a curse.

What follows is an incredible tale of grit and endurance. A lone traveler must survive the desert wilderness and mankind gone savage to discover the truth of Hemingway's classic tale of man versus nature.

Now with a new introduction by author Nick Cole.

Review:
Who says only twenty-somethings survive in the apocalypse?

Author Nick Cole’s story centers on the Old Man, one who lives through the end of the world. He is old and struggling to survive in the southwestern United States decades after war destroyed most of civilization. His usefulness to the rest of his camp of salvagers is measured by his age; the older you are the less you can do, and ultimately you become useless. The Old Man is painfully aware of this as his senses diminish and his strength fails. But he has a prized book, a copy of Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, and relates to the old man in that book as a source of strength to continue on, despite age. The Old Man decides to push out a little more from camp, just a little farther to find that perfect scrap for him and for his fellow salvagers. Along the way he faces natural obstacles such as ravenous animals and weather, and even worse, human obstacles.

We see the Old Man through his thoughts and actions. Cole has fashioned a believable, deep character. This is what draws so many readers. The book isn’t a typical post apocalyptic story of death and destruction. The Introduction in the Revised Edition speaks on that. It’s a story of not quitting regardless of the obstacles. It’s a theme that is universal in all men and is reflected in the feedback Cole has received from readers world-wide.

There are moments of intense situations and some violence (after all, it is post apocalyptic), but no gore. The Old Man has no vulgarity and no sex scenes.

A nice story entertains, but a great story makes us reflect. Nick Cole’s The Old Man and the Wasteland makes us reflect.

 

Menagerie

Menagerie Book Cover Menagerie
A.K. Meek
Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian
Me
Aug 2013
E-book

“The tricky part isn’t making you see things; it’s making you believe what you see.”

Menagerie is the newest pet craze from the Acme Corporation. The robotic animals genetically bind to their owners. Only three easy steps to link:

1) Put a drop of fluid (saliva or blood) in its mouth
2) Wait for 24 hours
3) Tell your dreams and fears to your forever friend

By the way, genetic binding is an imperfect science.

Timothy Hollow believes the measure of a man is how much he gains. He is a successful analyst, climbing Corinth’s societal ladder. In Corinth, the societal ladder also means living in the upper levels of the colossal buildings that stretch hundreds of floors upward. The higher the better.
However, his universe is turned upside down when his mother brings him an unexpected gift, a Menagerie.

Review: This book rocks!