By Nicholas Landon
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 6, 2012)
Genre: Science Fiction
Brief bio: Nicholas Landon is an independent author living and working in Southern California. When not writing he takes a special enjoyment in observing various societies and cultures. This love of philosophy, sociology, and religion can be seen in his writing, where they often play a prominent role.
About the book: There is no law. There is no morality. There is no peace. Compassion is a weakness, and Faith is insanity. Such is the world of Thomas Fremont. Struggling to survive in the desolate terrain of southwestern America, all he knows is violence and cruelty. It has been ten years since the government abandoned the region, collapsing into anarchy. Ten years of pain and fear. In this land, Thomas is but a slave, pressed into serving at the whim of the occupation forces left over from the fall. All he wants is peace and safety from the endless violence. But such blessings come with a price…
This story is set in the future; a time when war is rife, the fight for survival a daily struggle and greed is paramount. Already, the earth is in ruins, vast area’s laid to waste and all the major cities destroyed. Those who remain only want to have somewhere to live, enough food to live on and to survive at any cost. A world divided into factions, each desperate to be supreme and following their own rules.
Thomas Fremont is one such person, still a teenager, surviving in a world wrought with danger. He can barely remember his parents or a time when he wasn’t fending for himself, keeping his head down and doing anything he must to avert attention from himself. He lives in the Dark Quarter, a conscript, to be used by the soldiers and higher authorities any way they wish. However, he thinks himself lucky, he works outside the city, for no one wants to go inside, death and the unknown lurk within.
For some people though, fate has a way of intervening, changing life forever in a single moment, and for Thomas, this happens when he is assigned to enter the city limits, placing himself in a dangerous situation. A cruel world lies within; a world where a wrong gesture or movement can mean instant death, for life is cheap. Unexpectedly, he finds himself placed in unusual circumstances where he has to make a decision, which once taken is irreversible, and he is committed to that path, finding along the way that his choices are hard and decisions critical.
Charged with an important assignment by his superior and, eager to please, he sets off on his journey, however, it becomes one of self-discovery, when he finds himself placed in a previously unimaginable position. The route he travels finds him asking questions and feeling emotions he never thought really existed, the consequences of which change his life forever.
Set in the future, this book is thought provoking, looking into the mind of a young man who has learnt about life through his own experiences, and the words written long ago in the few books he has managed to find. Starting as a science fiction story it quickly evolves as its captivating storyline with strong characters encompasses a myriad of emotions before finishing on a surprising note.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and look forward to the future volumes in the Children of the Fall series.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
(9 July 2013)