Debbie's World of Books
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Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

May 14th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books


Source: Received for review

Availability: In stores now

Publisher: EgmontUSA

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars

Description from 2097 is a transformed world. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population, devastating every world system from governments to sports teams, and causing both universal and unimaginable grief. In the face of such massive despair, women were forced to take over control of the planet–and in doing so they eliminated all of Earth’s most pressing issues. Poverty, crime, warfare, hunger . . . all gone.

But there’s a price to pay for this new “utopia,” which fourteen-year-old Kellen is all too familiar with. Every day, he deals with life as part of a tiny minority that is purposefully kept subservient and small in numbers. His career choices and relationship options are severely limited and controlled. He also lives under the threat of scattered recurrences of the plague, which seem to pop up wherever small pockets of men begin to regroup and grow in numbers.

And then one day, his mother’s boss, an iconic political figure, shows up at his home. Kellen overhears something he shouldn’t–another outbreak seems to be headed for Afterlight, the rural community where his father and a small group of men live separately from the female-dominated society. Along with a few other suspicious events, like the mysterious disappearances of Kellen’s progressive teacher and his Aunt Paige, Kellen is starting to wonder whether the plague recurrences are even accidental. No matter what the truth is, Kellen cares only about one thing–he has to save his father.

I’ve really become a fan of dystopia books and while predictable I really enjoyed this one.  The book was paced nicely and the characters were all engaging.  The book opens up with Kellen’s father as a young boy first hearing about this plague that is wiping out almost every male it comes in contact with.  He is out camping with his mother and sister and anxiously awaits to see if his father made it out of town before the plague hits.  Then it switches to Kellen’s point of view.  I found it most interesting that apparently once women were able to be in charge with little influence of men supposedly war, poverty and crime were wiped out.  I’ve sometimes wondered what it would be like if women were in charge.  Are we really that different from men once women come to power?

Kellen teams up with two female cousins, Tia and Sunday, who are boarding in his mother’s home.  Both are spunky characters but you are kept wondering about the feelings of both towards Kellen.  It would have been nice to have that more fully explored but the fact that it is not dwelled upon more might make this book more appealing to male teens.  Like I mentioned above the revelation about if this disease outbreak was an accident or not was predictable as was what happens in the end but it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Dystopia, Young Adult

3 Responses

  1. Jenny

    Thanks for the review, this one sounds really interesting and thought-provoking!

  2. Jill

    I shared this book with my students and the boys were not happy :) The didn’t think it was fair that the boys were pretty much gone. The girls, of course loved it!

  3. dsuzuki

    LOL. Gotta wonder what the world led by all women would be like.

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