I think my love affair with apocalypse literature has to do with being a child of the cold war. I have some many favorites from the old classics. When a new entry in the genre comes up, I am always eager to see how it stands up. For those who have a preferred method of ending the world, do not despair: The Dead Lands' apocalypse has two. It creates a unique post apocalyptic world.
Two of the main characters have the surnames of Lewis and Clark. They start the story in St. Louis, but due to a series of events/circumstances, they set out for the Pacific northwest coast. They are using maps that were from the world before. They do not know what dangers they will face from the elements, mutated animals or other humans. The one character, Lewis, keeps a journal where he is recording their progress and also what they find as they travel through the apt named dead lands.
I enjoyed that the characters were not two dimensional. Even a minor character had a more robust presence than main characters in some books I have read. The descriptions of the landscapes, animals and people were terrific. I had no problems picturing what the author was seeing when he wrote those descriptions. The explanation for how the world ended was believable. The science he used in explaining the apocalypse and it's aftermath was understandable and rational.
It wasn't until approximately the last fifty pages that I had an issues. I was left with a couple of unanswered questions and wasn't madly in love with how the resolution of the story was achieved or the epilogue. Quite honestly, it may not be the author's fault. When I read a book I enjoy, I tend to gulp it down. The questions that went unanswered by the end of the book may have been answered, I just missed them. I will have to reread it again in the near future.
I would recommend The Dead Lands to anyone who enjoys good fiction. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a love affair with post apocalypse fiction. If you have read any of Mr. Percy's previous works, you will love The Dead Lands. Which reminds me, if you have not read the author's previous book, Red Moon, go buy/borrow,rent it now. Best. Werewolf. Story. Ever.