4 out of 5 stars
On Amazon (universal link)
How I discovered this book: Twitter
In a Nutshell: Post-apocalyptic thriller set in Australia
The story begins a couple of years after 'The Fall', when Australia is already divided into warring factions - the well-defended 'wallcoms' - communities in which people can live a life that resembles the 'before', and those who have chosen to live outside the relatively safe walls. Many of the original wallcoms have now fallen, overrun by the infected, feral beings with white skin. Once bitten, it's only a matter of time before you become a 'jack'.
Then there is the Headhunter - the standard post-apoc psycho baddie. A trope that never gets old - every book of this genre needs at least one!
The author concentrates on several main characters, each one of whom tells the story from their POV, always in the third person. John Bradley is a regular guy who goes out with the scavenging teams, though wife Helen wishes he would choose a safer occupation. Reading this, though, I couldn't help thinking that I'd want to do what John does, too, instead of hiding behind the walls in an illusion of safety. The sense of adventure is full-on, with missions described in detail. Anyone who has fantasies of living in a post-apoc world (that's me with my hand up) will be drawn to this.
The book is plot- rather than character-driven, which meant that I sometimes had trouble remembering who everyone was, but the dialogue totally works and the writing is such that some characters were still three-dimensional to me: John, his mate Matt, rockers Skylar and Harley (loved them!), and the Headhunter. I loved the inventive details about the technology, the spectacularly good world-building, and the chapters from the POV of the infected.
Good stuff, post-apoc lovers. Book #2 is also available, and I believe Book #3 is in progress.