Author: Deon Meyer
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Grove Atlantic
Rating: 5 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Grove Atlantic via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Summary: Two of the few survivors of a worldwide pandemic referred to as the “Fever”, Willem Storm and his adolescent son Nico set out to find the perfect place to build a new world. Once that place has been found, the intellectually curious, ethically minded Willem does all he can to build a community, a democracy, that is truly equal and equitable. Though the community begins to grow and adopt Willem’s principles, the world is not as it once was and outsiders with different ideas of how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world threaten what they’ve built.
In the meantime, Nico is growing up and realizing that he doesn’t necessarily agree with her father’s worldview. He resents the amount of time his father has to dedicate to the rebuilding of their little slice of civilization, and he turns to the town’s military leader as his new idol. Nico is a natural sharpshooter, a natural soldier, and Domingo is an excellent trainer. But Nico’s pursuits are so different from his father’s that they begin to pull away from each other.
Eventually, the outside world catches up with them, and when it does, Nico’s perspective of his father, and his life, is changed forever.
Things I love about this book:
- It’s post-apocalyptic
- Despite being written from Nico’s perspective, it is most definitely NOT YA (which I love, but some good adult post-apocalyptic stuff is refreshing)
- The setting is Africa not the US or the UK or Australia. It felt like visiting new territory, particularly as the author gave a lot of description of the territories they were in, using words I’d never heard or read before. It felt like I learned something, and it definitely expanded my interest in learning more about Africa.
- At 544 pages, it is a pretty deep dive into the characters and their relationships
- Though it is definitely post-apocalyptic, there is a bit of mystery as well
- The ending was surprising and brilliant
- Willem Storm had started creating an oral history of the people in the community, interviewing different people. The book is written by a 40-something year old Nico looking back, and in every chapter, parts of these oral histories are shared, a sort of epistolary approach that gave tidbits of insight into the people of Amanzi
What I didn’t like about this book:
- Nothing. This character driven tale of a father/son relationship amidst the unbelievable strain and struggle caused by rebuilding some semblance of society in a post-apocalyptic world was a terrific read.
If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic stuff and you love a good character-driven story, it’s worth the time investment. Wonderfully written, insightful, a pleasure to read.