A highly efficient post-disaster adventure story, one of three that introduce a new series.
Young Malik, flying with the Captain in a hot air balloon, is shot out of the sky. They survive the landing, but the crash is the least of their problems. In post-apocalyptic America, humans are more dangerous than anything else in the wild. The family with the gun that shot them down has a hunt in mind, and they prefer to hunt man. Luckily, Malik and the Captain have the Gene Matterhorn Wilderness Survival Guidebook on their side. A conceptual push-pull between sentimentalism and social Darwinism provides more meat to the story without getting in the way of the action. The characters are distinct and surprisingly complex for such a short exposure. The ending leaves a lot of room for readers to decide the ultimate result of Malik and the Captain’s full journey. The After the Dust Settled world is shared among authors in a series of books with similar brief length. Publishing simultaneously are Plague Riders, by Gabriel Goodman, a heart-pounding adventure about couriers who work for a despotic doctor, and a flight from slavers in the weaker River Run, by Deirdre Black. Along with low page count, these titles share the survival guidebook, quick pace and ambiguous endings.
Ideal for readers looking for maximum bang for the buck and no wasted words in their reading experience. (Adventure. 12-18)