Author: Peter R Stone
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 11/22/13
Length: 211 pages
Series: Forager #1
Forager’s Twists & Turns Will Keep You Guessing Until the Very End
Eighteen-year-old Ethan Jones has a secret that even his parents and foraging companions don’t know. And if that secret is discovered, he’ll be dragged away by the town’s draconian paramilitary Custodians to be dissected like a frog.
The only time he feels safe, the only time he feels free, is when he’s out in the ruins of 2122 AD Melbourne, foraging for scrap metals. The dull, drudgery of his life, however, is shattered when he rescues a mysterious Japanese girl from the degenerate, savage Skel. A girl who then breaks the town’s rigid conventions in her attempts to get to know him, a girl who also carries the pain of a broken heart.
Meanwhile, the nomadic Skel savages are ramping up their attacks on Newhome’s foraging teams and infesting Melbourne’s ruins in ever greater numbers. Is this part of a larger plan that could spell the town’s doom?
This introduction to the series gives us a lot to think about, and only a little bit of back story. good and bad i guess. We join the story focusing on Ethan who’s 18, a Forager (by his own choice) and he’s got a complex story. His father is very controlling, he’s got an ill sister, he’s in a community that needs to keep tabs on everyone and put limits on everything to keep peace, and Ethan’s not really in agreement to all that. He’s also got these special abilities that are secret and he has to work hard to keep hidden – and it’s working out for the most part until one day his team is working and get attacked by Skel – these wild folks that live outside the city gates, and he has to choose to keep his secret hidden, and let his friends and a convoy die, or to figure out a way to save as many people as he can. It’s the girl within the Convoy that draws his attention – and yet, he’s not sure why.
So the journey that we go on with them is one of Ethan’s fight for survival, growing into his own, and learning about love. Nananko – the girl tries her best to teach him about kindness, all from her own motives which takes a bit of time for us to learn.
It’s really not until the latter third of the story that things get good. The attacks on the town are increasing and they are becoming more orchestrated. that’s worrisome. We are also left to question what Ethan’s been told about his life post accident since there are bits that just don’t line up. When we begin to uncover the truths – the picture gets even more blurry and i think that’s something that’s really interesting – anxiety is introduced with the idea that someone close to Ethan tried to kill him yet he doesn’t know who. There’s also a lot of disquiet among towns and no one knows why.
While the romance bit of the story falls of towards the end – there’s been enough resolution that it’s not a focal point, we are left to wonder who’s going to survive, and what they will find when they fight for their lives. It’s rather well written – given that there’s quite a bit out there in the genre that has cities that are regimented to protect themselves from a wild evolved species – but there’s something more here that makes me intrigued. I don’t know if it’s the sense that the towns are working against one another possibly, or that there’s more to some of the characters’ stories that we haven’t uncovered – but i do know that i’m intrigued and i’ll continue on with this series to see what’s next. Enjoy!