This review is spoiler-free!
This book was received from the author for review. All opinions are my own.
After a virus wipes out all life on the planet, Ryan Steward believes he’s all that’s left. Now, a race of scavengers descends on Earth, ready to consume the remaining resources. Ryan, tasked with preserving humanity’s written word, must travel the country in hopes of saving books from their destruction. In his hideaway, beneath West Virginia’s secretive Greenbrier, he builds humanity’s last library, and hopes that he can protect it from time, and from invaders . . .
Well, this story certainly threw me through a loop. From the synopsis, I got a lot of what I was expecting: post-apocalyptic setting with a single human left to what a devastating virus has left in its wake, but then I failed to look at the second half of the synopsis after reading this first part… and was thrown off guard when a new element came into play, even though I totally should have expected it if I had just thought a little harder about what I was reading beforehand. Not that that’s a bad thing — I love not knowing what I’m getting into! It’s why I usually don’t read anything about a book before going into it. I just thought it was pretty funny how I completely missed that little curve ball.
My genius ass aside, the story itself was an awesome, if a little unconventional. I love the whole idea of someone being left to the world and then tasked with the job of creating a single library from the remains of the bookstores around him. If I were the last human left on Earth, I’d totally do that myself without prompt. Sure, I may also just flat out live in that library and never move again, but that’s beside the point. Ryan’s love for books was a real key point to the whole idea, because I could definitely relate to aspect if nothing else about the story, considering he believes he’s the last left on the planet. I don’t envy his predicament, but I still can’t say I wouldn’t do the same.
My main problem, really, was that I felt like there could have been more. It wasn’t rushed, exactly, but I think the idea itself could have lent to a bigger story than a novella, and that could just be the fact I don’t take to novellas well in general talking for me. I don’t know. I wanted more, especially detail-wise when it came to the… uh, spoiler-free… let’s say surprise. (Is it really a spoiler? It’s kind of right there in the synopsis… sorta.) I’d love to see an after, because I’m really curious about one of the characters we only saw a little bit of.
If you like dystopian novellas with a side of surprise sci-fi, though (which, again, that surprise most likely was just me being Jared, 19, unable to read), then I have a feeling this will be for you.
Oh, also? Ryan’s opinions on crunchy peanut butter are invalid and I refuse to acknowledge them.
Crunchy peanut butter for LIFE.
Thanks for reading!