Carry the Flame

James Jaros. Harper Voyager, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-201631-7
A future America descending into tribalism and savagery serves as the backdrop of this gutsy second volume of Jaros’s postapocalyptic series (after Burn Down the Sky). In a Midwestern landscape scorched to desert by catastrophic climate changes, a caravan of families led by motherly Jessie and former marauder Burned Fingers struggle northward in search of a more salubrious environment. Pursuing them is the Alliance, fundamentalist zealots who need young women to sustain a community. Before them is the City of Shade, a penal colony that forces its captives to fight gruesome gladiatorial battles. At stake are the last traces of human decency and compassion in a nightmarish world. With references to ecological despoliation and oil as a precious commodity, Janos’s novel has a noticeable Mad Max vibe, replete with quirky characters and nonstop action. Tense, terse prose suits the setting and carries the story nimbly along. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/04/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-209637-1
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