The Blood of the Lamb trilogy concludes.
After her near-fatal illness in Into the Wilderness (2014), Maryam prepares to leave the refugee camp and return to Onewēre. Though Onewēre and its white religious zealots are dangerous, she must return, armed as she is with a cure for the plague Te Matee Iai. Her dearest friend, Ruth—now pregnant following a rape—is determined to stay and teach her fellow refugees, leaving Maryam to tough out the return journey alone. Maryam’s shocked when her former enemy, Lazarus, follows her home, as she’s oblivious to his developing affections. The escape from the camp, sea journey and island survival adventure are well-enough-paced, but once Maryam and Lazarus arrive back home, momentum grinds to a halt. For more than half the novel, Maryam and Lazarus are caught in an endless, bleak cycle: distrustful arguments with each other, gushing bodily fluids of all sorts, shared capture, sexual violence, degradation by their enemies, brief hope. Lather, rinse, repeat. Without any further development, the trilogy’s every weakness is accentuated, not least the inexplicable primitive naïveté of Maryam’s people, as vulnerable to pseudo-Christian trickery as if their pre-apocalypse society had never been part of the industrial world.
In this conclusion, coarseness is used as a substitute for realism, despair as a substitute for character growth: skip. (Post-apocalyptic romance. 15-17)