Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi dystopian murder mystery eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read the first book then ye might want to skip this post. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .
Title: the wild dead
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: John Joseph Adams / Mariner Books
Publication Date: TODAY!!! (paperback/e-book)
This be the 5th book in me e-Arc Extravaganza Challenge wherein I had to read all 5 books before their July 17th release dates. Challenge complete! Arrr!
I previously read and was absolutely enthralled by the first book. This one was great too! Both stories are set “after the fall” in the coastal United States. The coast has flooded. Cities have fallen. The world is slowly rebuilding. The novel follows Enid, a young Investigator who helps police the towns along the Coastal Road. That job involves anything from helping people in the aftermath of storms, to arbitrating disputes, or in this case, doing a property inspection to see if the town should repair it. Teeg is in charge of his first mission and Enid is there to mentor him. What is a fairly simple assignment becomes much more difficult when a dead body turns up. And it is certainly murder. Can the two investigators find the killer? Or should they just leave it alone?
The first story was structured around Enid’s life both past and present with the murder being only part of the story. The murder mystery is at the forefront of book two and the majority of the story takes place in the present. Enid uses many of her experiences from the previous murder investigation to help her outlook in this one. Teeg is her foil in the case. Enid struggles to find her balance in her dual roles of investigator and teacher.
As in the first book, the murder mystery was less interesting to me than the settlement set-up in the far reaches of the territory. I loved the marshland setting. I loved getting to see more of the people who live in the Wild. I loved the continuing explorations of the bigger issues of society such as resources, the roles and expectations of various types of outsiders, and the ideas of truth and justice. I loved watching Enid’s investigative techniques.
The author manages another book where there is an overall optimistic outlook in the aftermath of a dystopia. I would love to have Enid on me crew. I would also love another book in the series either about Enid or a companion novel about another settlement along the Coast Road. Give me more! Arrrr!
So lastly . . .
Thank you John Joseph Adams / Mariner Books!
Side note: There be another story set in this world! It is called “Where Would You Be Now” and is listed as book 0.5. I must read it. Arrr!
Goodread’s website has this to say about the novel:
A century after environmental and economic collapse, the people of the Coast Road have rebuilt their own sort of civilization, striving not to make the mistakes their ancestors did. They strictly ration and manage resources, including the ability to have children. Enid of Haven is an investigator, who with her new partner, Teeg, is called on to mediate a dispute over an old building in a far-flung settlement at the edge of Coast Road territory. The investigators’ decision seems straightforward — and then the body of a young woman turns up in the nearby marshland. Almost more shocking than that, she’s not from the Coast Road, but from one of the outsider camps belonging to the nomads and wild folk who live outside the Coast Road communities. Now one of them is dead, and Enid wants to find out who killed her, even as Teeg argues that the murder isn’t their problem. In a dystopian future of isolated communities, can our moral sense survive the worst hard times?
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