In chapter one of this moving dystopian thriller from bestseller Lee (First Born), 22-year-old Wynter Roth is expelled from the New Earth cult for disobedience after living in its rural Iowa compound for 15 years. Years before, Wynter’s mother fled an abusive husband and sought a new beginning in New Earth, a “community of like-minded souls bent on worshipping the Creator,” founded by wealthy entrepreneur Magnus Theisen as a haven and outreach ministry. Magnus’s followers must abide by a set of strict rules, including what they can eat and wear. Wynter’s return to the outside world coincides with an outbreak of rapid-onset dementia, which is beginning to become an epidemic, and power outages, which are possibly the result of foreign cyberterrorism. These developments seem to confirm Magnus’s apocalyptic prophecies. Wynter’s quest for a cure for the epidemic involves some minor plot contrivances. While this isn’t as powerful as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Lee gets readers to invest in the characters, particularly her well-defined and sympathetic lead. Agents: Dan Raines and Meredith Smith, Creative Trust Ventures. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2018 Release date: 12/04/2018 Genre: Fiction
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