Sunday, 4 December 2022

CROW COUNTRY by Emily Sullivan

 4 out of 5 stars

On Amazon (universal link)
On Goodreads

How I discovered this bookfreebooksy

In a Nutshell: Bleak post-apocalyptic world in which men are mean and crows are ... huge.

“Everyone was, in one night, made basic again. For when the Lord snapped his fingers, the Devil took the stage. What tremendous music he made”.

A strange book ... highly atmospheric, and that was what kept me reading.  That and wanting to know if the main character, Judge, would make it.

It's almost three decades after some event that caused a blackout across America, a situation never reversed.  Alas, we never find out what happened on October 9th, nearly thirty years before, or why fertility has been affected.  This isn't really a criticism as the book is about the events of the present; I just like to know the full story!  Judge lives in Colorado, in the new town of Genesis, run by a man known only as Law (at first).  Gradually, little bits of information are dropped in to show the reader details about the past.  I liked the way this is done, as by the time this appeared I really needed to know what the backstory between Law and Judge was.

As well as dealing with the usual horrors of a post-apocalyptic world, the inhabitants of Genesis must take cover from the crows, grown huge and predatory.

I found the writing style compelling (in that I couldn't have not read until the end) yet frustrating at times, when something was not explained as much as I would like; at other times, though, this was most effective.  Occasionally there were odd word choices, unusual ways of describing a feeling, the weather, the atmosphere that mostly worked very well but now and again had me thinking, what does she mean?  I noted afterwards that the author writes Westerns, and this book is very much in that vein.  It's raw, bleak, with little comfort for the characters and a dark portrayal of the worst in man.

I liked it.  It's good.  Now I want to read a prequel!

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