Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tallwood by Amanda Kool

It happened.  The apocalypse.  God took those he wanted and sent in a clean up crew to take care of the rest.

But mankind survived.  They hid in caves.  The hid in rubble.  They ran.  Like an infestation of vermin, they survived.

Eight generations later, the world is a scary place.  Johns, the common term for the angels, roam the earth in search of humans to exterminate.  Over time, they've forgotten their initial reasons for being there and are just seeking the kill.  They have become rabid hunters.  Humans have forged small cities underground of 200 to 300 people.  Traders carefully go from city to city.  Sybarites openly dance in the field, taunting the Johns and trying to prove that the earth still belongs to man.

Pretty fascinating, right?!  Yes!  Incredible, actually!  If you're a fan of Hugh Howey's Wool series, you're guaranteed to love this!

World creation had to have been pretty difficult here. Everything has been thought out and planned well.  There's a flash of redundancy, but only a flash.  I reached a point several hundred pages in where I realized I'd already been given a vital piece of information and was being given the same information again.  However, I know there are lots of skimmers out there, so if they didn't pick it up the first time, they should the second.  Also, like I said, it was merely a flash.  An incredibly short paragraph.  Hardly enough to cause issue!

Given the fact that we're being thrust into a new world with cities full of new people, it can be pretty difficult to keep them straight at first.  Here's who you need to know:  Ashur and his crew, Sebastian, White, Bobby, Lewellyn, and Banish.  Everyone else is important, but more as backup story.  Sebastian and Banish both run cities.  Bobby is a rogue.  Ashur is a trader. Lewellyn is a wild card.

Even though we have a lot of people to keep track of, it's actually pretty easy.  Each character develops a personality and character that's so unique, that you can't help but assign them as a real person in your brain.  Where Wool takes the time to go through three books and slowly introduce people, Tallwood throws you right in with the Johns and lets you fend for yourself.  It's quite a rush!

Each person in the story is going through their own issue.  Add to that, we have the constant threat of Johns and Sybarites to worry about.  Then we have to throw in the fact that not all humans are 'good' and may tend to cause trouble.  Don't forget, just because the apocalypse happened, doesn't mean there aren't still psychos running around.  As if that isn't enough, a new species is added.  Not only do we not know if it's good or bad or dangerous or safe, we know nothing about it, and it knows nothing about itself.  DANGER!!!

This book took me over a week to read, because I didn't want to miss one single word.  It's brilliantly written, captivating, and thrilling.  I was deeply involved with every character.  I rejoiced and shed tears with them.  I admit it, I even threw down the book and walked away at one point, refusing to pick it back up.  That lasted a total of fifteen minutes, but that's not the point.  This book is such an emotional rollercoaster!

If you enjoy dystopian/ post-apocalyptic books, you really don't want to pass this one up.  I'd re-read this over Wool or Hunger Games any day of the week.  It truly was unique and incredible.

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