The world as we know it has collapsed through war and disease. It is in this post-apoclyptic world that we meet Stephen. He is a scavenger with his father traveling the paths of the old world looking for things to trade and sell. Then his father has an accident and Stephen meets some new people; people who don’t live on the open road but have created a new town and are trying to rebuild their old lives.
Post-apocalyptic teen fiction is everywhere and there aren’t a lot of original stories left to tell. This one is definitely not an original; there isn’t anything really ground-breaking about this tale, but there also isn’t anything wrong with it. Stephen is an interesting character who wants to find a place to belong; he is struggling with who he is now that his grandfather is dead and his father is injured. He has to stand on his own for the first time. The rest of the characters aren’t quite as interesting. They all seem to be your typical archetypes for the post-apocalyptic world: evil slavers, people just trying to get by, family that wants to rule what little is left of their domain. Of course there is conflict, but it all gets resolved rather easily.
This book could actually be recommended for younger audiences (tweens) or your more innocent teens. It is a very clean read. There is only a bit of very clean kissing, no swearing that I can remember and even the violence is very non-violent. I would almost classify this as a gentle post-apocalyptic read. All the conflict is resolved at the end and everyone has their happily ever after.