Ahoy there me mateys! This book was described as being in the spirit of station eleven but with ticks. Being as I love me some dystopian fiction I gave this one a shot.
So in this version of Earth, ticks have become a menace that is so bad that most humans live in zones beyond controlled wastelands (the salt line) and walls that keep them sequestered and safe from the natural world. The difference in this book is that a lot of the outside world is still beautiful. So there are very rich adventure seekers that pay vast sums of money to go on death-defying adventures to see fall foliage or the mountains etc. But beware if a tick bites, they only have a very limited time to burn them out of their skin or risk serving as an incubator for tick eggs – usually with fatal results.
The strength of the novel lies in the characterizations and in the overlaying ideas of the adventure-seekers. Each member of the expedition has interesting reasons for venturing beyond the salt line. In particular the relationship between Marta and Wes was very much a favourite. Edie and Violet were two other beloved characters. I also thought the ticks and their impact on society were well through out and portrayed.
The main problem I had with the book was with the politics of the outer-zone survivors who take the adventurers hostage. Once the hostages reach the village and are trapped, the books plot went downhill for me. The outcomes were a little predicable and the politics were rather simplistic. The pacing slowed down. I continued to read because of the characters but was overall unsatisfied with the ending. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the read. I just didn’t think it was amazing. But the characters and ideas are worth reading this novel and who know ye may love it more than I did.
For a take on this novel by some of me crew check out:
this review by Mogsy @ thebibliosanctum
this review by Lisa @ tenaciousreader
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
In the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump -the Salt Line.-
How far will they go for their freedom–once they decide what freedom really means?
In an unspecified future, the United States’ borders have receded behind a salt line–a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what’s left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta; a seemingly simple housewife.
Once out of zone, the group find themselves at the mercy of deadly ticks–and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line.
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