I’ve been doing a little self-psychoanalysis and I think part of the reason that I like dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction so much is because it makes all my first world problems seem super petty. I mean, I might be worried about dieting or something, but that seems less critical when you read about people who are legit starving, you know? The latest venture into post-apocalyptic fiction is California by Edan Lepucki. I saw a review of it over at The Gilmore Guide to Books and skedaddled to NetGalley to see if it was still available. Fortune smiled. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review consideration. May I be abandoned in the post-apocalyptic California wilderness if I am untruthful in my review.*
California takes place in (would you have guessed?) California. After a peak oil crisis and increasing civil unrest rip through Los Angeles, Cal and Frida pull up stakes and head out into the wilderness. They plan to live off the land by utilizing Cal’s farming skills and live a peaceful life. Peaceful, if not comfortable. Comfort comes at a premium these days.
The wealthy have all retreated into closed “Communities.” They maintain reliable electricity, indoor plumbing, and your major creature comforts. People live and work inside these settlements to escape the lawless streets, patchy utility coverage, and food shortages. Those without the means are left to fend for themselves in the ruins of major cities, hence Cal and Frida’s decision to get out of Dodge. All was going well, or at least they weren’t on the verge of starvation, when Frida discovers that she’s pregnant.
A lack of prenatal care wasn’t a problem the pair had anticipated when they were planning their homestead, so they decide to set off and try to find the nearest settlement. What they find is a dark and guarded camp of settlers with a whole lot of secrets… And weird taste in art.
Y’all I really dug this book. It certainly fulfilled my post-apocalyptic fiction craving. There were a few things I would have liked explained a little more fully, but I rather liked the semi-ambiguous ending. Me liking an ambiguous ending? Who’d have thunk?! If post-apocalyptic fiction is your thing, I recommend you take a trip to California.
Talk to me Bookworms. Does anybody else like dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction because it reminds you that your lot in life could always be worse? Just me?
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