Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

It’s been thirty years since Elisha’s (like the Biblical prophet) Bear hit world-wide. In this world, there is no war, prisons are not full, not mass deaths, slavery or environmental disasters. Elisha’s Bear took care of all of that. Because now, 97% of the population are women. Most of the men died thirty years ago….

In the PE (Post-Elisha) world, Kellen lives with his mother, who is has an upper-level job with PAC, the Population Apportionment Council. They ensure that the current percentage of population gaps don’t close in, making the earth a more dangerous and vulnerable place that includes males. Kellen feels the sting. At school, girls are given the chance to become who and what they want to be. He has limited choices and a tough battery of tests to pass to be able to do something.

Kellen takes Tia and Sunday, two new girls, down Epitaph Road, a place where mass graves for the dead men in the Seattle area are buried. Burning crosses dot the field with Frathiests coming to make their pilgrimages. Epitaphs on a granite monolith are carved with the words of the survivors, including the epitaph to Kellen’s grandfather. Life is tough, but now governments focus of healthcare, educational reforms and clean environments instead of nuclear devices, prison reform.

Kellen soon learns that Tia is looking and searching for truth behind cover-ups and conspiracy theories, including what exactly happened thirty years ago. And when his history project turns up a defunct website, junkyarddog.bites, he begins to fit some missing puzzle pieces together….

It isn’t until Kellen overhears his aunt and mother arguing about the safety and life of his father, now a loner living at Afterlight, to spur Kellen into action. Something big is about to go down and wipe out his father’s last breath, and Kellen is determined to save him. And it’s what happens to Tia, Sunday and Kellen when they begin their journey that opens to the door to more chaos, conspiracy and death.

What a unique and different twist on a future dystopian world. Patneaude takes the minority in society to create a very strong main character in this book, creating a balance between the two. Starting as a flashback to Kellen’s father as a teen who survived, the reader gets in touch with how the world is run now, but it isn’t until Patneaude takes the reader into the unseen history that changes the novel into one of intense suspense. This book is thought-provoking, page-turning, and will have readers reading fast and furious to find out the truth in the hidden history of this book’s past, but what the outcome will be for Kellen, Tia, and Sunday. Highly recommended


Jennifer Smith said...

The epitaphs at the beginning of each chapter made the tragedy so very personal. Some were heartbreaking (newlyweds), some were vindictive, and all were so real.

Tamzen Kulyk said...

This book looks fascinating. What grade level would you suggest it for?

naomibates said...

It would be great at the junior high level as well!!