All around us, in this sepulchral forest of grey silence, were remnants of the past – rusted firearms, shattered smartphones, parts of abandoned vehicles – all carefully entombed beneath a thin veil of volcanic ash that blanketed the land like a crust of frost on a dying flower. These were the broken bones of the old world, the lingering vestiges of the times that the few of us left who were born before the Grey Winter had once known.
Twenty-five years after the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano and the massive war that followed, the scattered, dwindling remnants of the human race are forced to eke out a primordial existence while the supply of a drug vital to their survival is controlled by a group of greedy Oligarchs. For those born before the disaster, those called the Prelapsarians, the future looks hopeless. But there are some who choose to resist.
In the south of Russia, a band of retired mercenaries, led by the formidable Andrei Evgenyevich Myshkin, seeks to undermine the Oligarchs’ power. Their ardor is invigorated when they encounter Ani, a headstrong, idealistic young smuggler with a dream of a brighter future and a penchant for getting herself into trouble. Together, their quest takes them across the Caucasus Mountains, through the ruins of once-prosperous cities, and to the shores of the Caspian Sea, faced along the way with backroom intrigue, fierce battles, and brewing tension that threatens to turn them against one another. The company faces danger from notorious terrorists, capricious rebels, opportunistic rivals, and mountain bandits, but the deadliest opponent they face may be within. @goodreads
This book is about what happens after Yellowstone blows.
The people in the book call this The Grey Winter, this happened about 2 1/2 decades ago and the people that are left are just trying to survive. There is a drug everyone is trying to fight to get - it's called Mamikonium (Mammy) - this drug helps keep you alive from breathing the ash.
There are several characters I liked in the book and some of them die, it's just the way it is in a world gone mad. Ciaran is the one telling the story and he is one that I like, but there are others, Syrah, John, Ani....
The group is out scouting when they find and kill some peeps and this is where they find Ani and take her with them. She is a mammy smuggler. There is no holds barred in this book. There is rape, torture, killings, what have you. It's not like any dystopian book I have read so far. It gets pretty brutal.
"Fuck me!" Ptolemy exclaimed as he brushed himself off and caught his breath.
"I'd rather not," Ani said, her thin lips rolling back to reveal a perfect smile, "but I'm flattered by your offer." Ptolemy Warren stormed off, his ego as battered as his scrawny neck.
"He's a worthless piece of shit, that boy, said Andrei. "I tried to raise him to respect his betters, but he spits in my face. I've grown weary of him. Syrah, you and Kirill take him hunting tomorrow." Syrah nodded, understanding her captain's implicit order. "Illarion, you've got a way with prose. Prepare a eulogy in the unfortunate event he should not return."
"They're going to kill him," Ani deduced, her face flushed with remorse. I nodded. "Please," she begged Andrei. "I'll be fine. Don't--"
"The world doesn't revolve around you," Andrei said bluntly.
"The boy is of no use to us,"I added.
Ani jolted back, mouth agape. "So--"
"We can't afford to support idle people," I reminded her. "Our resources aren't infinite. Every person here has a purpose, and every one of them contributes something to the community. That's how we stay alive. Those who chose to make themselves parasites, sucking from the teats of our labors but giving nothing back, have no place among us." It was a brutal truth, and not a pleasant one, and I could see deep in Ani's beautiful eyes that it was one she understood too well.
I won't even say what the boy said to Ani to start all of this.
Anyway, the group decide to take on a mission which turns out to not be the very best idea they have had as they lose pretty much all that went with them. I won't say what they were doing, who was killed, or the end game. You can pick up the book and read that for yourself.
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes their books on the brutal side, with words, actions, what have you.
*I would like to thank Smith Publicity for a print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
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