It was about a year and a half ago when I read Carrie Vaughn’s Bannerless and was really taken by surprise in a good way. I knew nothing about the book and was only familiar with Vaughn’s name as someone I hadn’t yet read. This time I went in to the book with some idea of what I would find, and I had high expectations.
A big part of my enjoyment here is the world Vaughn has created. It is, in some ways, a dystopian world. A post-holocaust … no, a post-collapse world. There are hints of the technology that we are currently familiar with, but I don’t sense the devastation that would come with a world war. And unlike so many of the dystopian-set books I’ve read, this world is almost peaceful, serene.
But even in a peaceful world with human inhabitants, the worst of human attributes will come out, and so the civilization we see here have form of police investigators. Enid and her new partner Teeg are these new investigators.
Enid and Teeg are called to mediate a dispute in a remote region along the Coast Road. A body of a young woman is discovered in a swamp nearby. The woman is not from the Coast Road but from one of the nomadic tribes inhabiting the woods. This makes her death quite a mystery and yet no one seems to care in the slightest. Except Enid.
Teeg argues that this isn’t their problem since it isn’t part of the Coast Road but Enid’s sense of morality and determination to to bring a sense of closure has her going into the wild alone. This brings about no small amount of danger for Enid.
I really enjoy this series, based on these first two books. Combining a mystery with dystopian sci-fi is great. And that this dystopian world isn’t the doom-and-gloom the way most dystopian worlds appear to be, is really wonderful.
I don’t get a lot of intensity or drama in this. It’s not a page-turner. But I like it. This is a great beach read or a sitting-by-the-fire-in-winter read.
Looking for a good book? The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn is a wonderful mystery set in an American future after an economic and social order collapse.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Wild Dead
author: Carrie Vaughn
series: The Bannerless Saga #2
publisher: John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
paperback, 264 pages