Synopsis: In a world where long drinks are in short supply, a stranger listens to the voice in his head telling him to buy a lemonade from the girl sitting on a dusty road.
The moment locks them together. Here and now it’s dangerous to listen to your inner voice. Those who do, keep it quiet.
These voices have purpose. And when Pilgrim meets Lacey, there is a reason. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Me: This has been an interesting book to read. It’s taken from netgalley as a free ARC. On there, Amazon and Goodreads they all compare it to Stephen King’s The Stand. A dangerous comparison being one of my all time favourite books. That’s a big hype to live up to. And for me it didn’t.
The premise is similar: dystopian society after the worlds population went mad and killed each other thanks to the voices in their head (closer to Cell I would say than The Stand) leaving just a select few wondering their purpose in this new world. We have the mysterious wandering bad guy (albeit unseen in book 1) and the hero that is here only to serve a purpose (no spoilers!). Oh and while we’re at it how about a guy with learning difficulties that’s key to the plot as well except Posey is a bad guy (or is he – I think further books will muddy the waters on that one) to Tom Cullen’s good guy.
It’s a bit of a road trip book set over just a few weeks and can be summed up as Pilgrim meets a young girl and agrees to give her a lift to Vicksburg; they meet Alex who has been tied up and tortured; rescue Alex and go to the library. They lose Alex and Pilgrim is shot in the head. Then they go rescue Alex who is being tied up and tortured again and that’s about it. There is a bit more to it obviously but to me things happened but yet not an awful lot happened. I kept waiting for more and didn’t get it. I wonder if Book 2 will have a bit more to it. Or even if book 1 & 2 could have been combined to make it a bit more zingy.
My other issue was with Lacey, the girl in the story. She was 7 at the time the Voices came and has been closeted away from the troubles by her grandma for the last 9 years. Now gran is dead and Lacey has to fend for herself. It isn’t until about half way in the book that the author stops writing her as a 7 year old girl. I get that she is naive but she’s meant to be 16. I found it very difficult to imagine her as anything other than a small child. It got better half way through and I could eventually see a 16 year old with a rifle but it took a while.
Taking away the comparisons to The Stand it’s an ok dystopian novel. I’ve read better but I’ve also read far worse. As a comparison to The Stand it falls short in a big way.
I did like the premise of voices in our heads eventually controlling our actions and whether it automatically makes for evil. I’d like to meet Flitting Man and see who and what he is and what he is up to. I hate not finishing a series so will no doubt look for Book 2 when it’s available.
Thumbs firmly in the middle with this.