Road Out of Winter

Alison Stine. Mira, $17.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7783-0992-5
Society collapses after two consecutive years of winter in this haunting dystopia from Stine (The Protectors). When Wil’s family leaves Appalachian Ohio for California, 20-something Wil is left behind to tend the family business of illegally growing and selling marijuana. But as the town’s residents realize there will be no spring this year once again, Wil receives a postcard from her mother with her new address. She sets out to meet her mother, accompanied by two young men she rescues, one who was lost in the woods and one who was caught in a mob of angry townsfolk. On their cross-country journey in a truck they encounter helpful environmentalists; a dangerous, totalitarian community that’s sprung up in a skate park; and a suicide cult. Wil’s farming skills and collection of vegetable seeds and grow lights may be her only chance of survival, but they also make her a target for those willing to kill for her resources. Stine’s prose is crisp and atmospheric (“The earth was so frozen it was like chipping at bone.... Snow quickly filled the holes I had made, as if even this small blackness was not allowed to stay in the new white world”), and though bleakness abounds, the ending strikes a lovely balance of hope and pathos. Fans of climate fiction and found family stories will be entranced. Agent: Eric Smith, P.S. Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/05/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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