Garden of Darkness

Gillian Murray Kendall. Rebellion/Ravenstone, $9.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-78108-248-5
Children are faced with the unenviable task of rebuilding civilization after a disease known as the Pest wipes out most of humanity. Left behind are infected teens and preteens, who will die as they mature, and the Cured, adults whose attempts to stay alive turned them into insane monsters. A small group navigates the post-apocalyptic ruins of society: 15-year-old Clare, 13-year-old Jem, nine-year-old Sarai, and seven-year-old Mirri. As they forage and form a new family together, they slowly drift north, in search of the safe haven promised by the so-called Master, an adult who claims to have a cure and a refuge from the Cured. As they travel, they witness how other survivors have adapted to their new circumstances. Kendall tells the story from an emotional distance and at a leisurely pace, helping to strengthen the bleak, horrifying nature of the setting and premise. The narrative, while sometimes prone to meandering and digression, is strong and occasionally haunting, and the ending leaves much open for future exploration. Ages 12–up. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/19/2014
Release date: 06/25/2014
Genre: Children's
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