My dear adventurers, it’s so good to blog with you again! After a long leave of absence, I’m excited to return to TGNA. You should’ve seen my face when I set the schedule and saw that my first post was going to be a book review, because blargh, I’ve said it before, I am not-so-good at these. HOWEVER! I shall soldier on.
Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people who outlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the old world. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn, who runs the camp with an iron will. He has to–because heat, dust, and starvation aren’t the only threats in this ruined world.
There are also the Skaldi.
Monsters with the ability to infect and mimic human hosts, the Skaldi appeared on the planet shortly after the wars of destruction. No one knows where they came from or what they are. But if they’re not stopped, it might mean the end of humanity.
Six months ago, Querry had an encounter with the Skaldi–and now he can’t remember anything that happened before then. If he can recall his past, he might be able to find the key to defeat the Skaldi.
If he can’t, he’s their next victim.
Sounds good, huh?
The book opens with Querry in the camp that he lives in with his father, the camp leader and all-round hardass. You’re immediately thrust into this world of inconvenience, where everything is a struggle and any basic right is a luxury. The camp are never able to settle long in any one place for fear that they might get attacked by Skaldi, these body-snatching alien zombie dudes that can take over your body and mimic you perfectly. Even when they find an abandoned estate with canned food and relative shelter, they cannot relax. You can feel the stress of living under these cramped conditions. My nose wrinkled when I read about how badly everyone smelled (because, yanno, accurate, but gross) and worse still, the habits that some of the adults had to keep to stop the Skaldi from imitating them, right down to plucking and shaving every hair from their body and keeping it in a jar, ugh!
The interesting thing about this book is that the protagonist has amnesia of a sort; after an attack, Querry suffered a bad head injury that erased his memories from before the last six months. As a reader, we’re learning things along with Querry, and rediscovering memories with him. I found that I constantly had to remind myself that Querry was only 14 (or thereabouts – age isn’t too important when you’re living day to day), partly because I’m used to reading older teens, and partly because he didn’t read like a young teen. This could be a symptom of the world he grew up in, but it certainly didn’t stop the older teenage boys from acting like dumbasses!
Though a little slow to start and heavy on backstory details, SURVIVAL COLONY 9 shows an interesting perspective on a dystopian world where nowhere is safe, and surviving is the only thing you can do to pass the time. Fans of THE 5th WAVE and THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH would really enjoy this book.
SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is out on September 23rd!
(Thank you to the author for giving me an advance copy of his book!)