Civilization has been destroyed, but Grace and Hayden have found each other.
Years after a massive war, a formerly thriving metropolis is in rubble, its remaining goods guarded by violent Brutes. Scattered outside the city are villages of survivors who play a constant game of raid or be raided, kill or be killed. None of them have learned to produce much, so they obtain alcohol, fuel, and munitions through raids. On a scavenging trip, Hayden, the leader of the deadly Blackwing camp, saves and ultimately kidnaps the wounded, beautiful Grace, never expecting that that they are going to fall for each other. The plot unfolds in alternating Grace-Hayden perspectives and requires strenuous suspension of disbelief; for example, medical supplies still exist in rather ample supply in the decimated city. Raid scenes are interspersed with make-out sessions between Grace and Hayden and very explicit hand jobs that never lead to actual intercourse. The narrative dabbles with erotic dominance, as when the two physically tussle: “My cheek pushed against the rough bark while his hands gripped my wrists against my lower back…I shivered when his lips tickled against my ear when he spoke, and I hated myself for liking it.” Hayden and Grace both embody a combination of cardboard-cutout stoicism and vulnerability. All characters are white.
Dystopian clichés rife with violence and trite romance. (Dystopian romance. 15-18)