I just love post-apocalyptic world settings. Thus it was a natural choice, when discovering Curiosity Quills, to look through the section specified. “The Artful” by Wilbert Stanton (“Shadows of the City: Book one”; ISBN 162007527X; 218p.; Goodreads) caught my eye right away, for you have to admit, that is a good cover. The description in the back promised viruses, broken lands, and adventures. So I humbly inquired about it, and now I must say it was the best choice I have made book-wise so far.
Future New York is more or less a Quarantine Zone. A virus lashed across the land and people know not just how far and wide it went. What they do know tho, that those who pulled through – are still fighting for survival. Sun burns their skin, forcing most to cover until dark, or put on layers upon layers of clothing and suffer through the heat and apparent radiation. Food provisions got scarce. But worst of all – medication became a luxury only the rich could afford. And those all lived up in Empire towers of Manhattan, not caring for the dying outside, huddled in their gangs and tribes for safety and provisions. No, the rich, or the Tower Babies, their only care in the world is to push through another boring day, find a more exciting party, and maybe a better drug than the last time. And since of those they have no shortage, our heroes, Twist and Dodger, famous and infamous Gutter Punks, take it up themselves to sift some away.
The story is full of twists, and bumps, and turns. So, naturally it didn’t go right! The guards were agitated from the start. And then lads met up with their old friend, who held on to his bag as if his life depended on it…
The book was truly a something. I have never met such fun young adults or teenagers in any story before. Immature jokes were just right, adventures were in perfect measure, other characters they met had plenty of their own personalities to not seem mere “support characters” either. And don’t get me wrong, this is not a laugh ride! There’s running for the life situations, brutal beatings, cannibals even! Truly, as a reader I am happy, and I very much hope to get the sequels too. I give the book 5 out of 5, it earned it in every sense, from the slick and fitting cover, to the whole vibe about it.