"This magical, terrifying, and whimsical debut is a genuinely original and immersive take on post-apocalyptic SF."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In 2161, the first chimera arose. A year later, twelve billion people were dead. The few who survived called it the Reckoning.
Generations later, their descendants hide within the walls of small, rustic villages, cowering from chimeras. They revere tradition. They fear innovation. They mistrust anything that's different.
Root couldn't be more different.
Curious and irreverent, she disquiets her village. Blind daughter of the village guardian, she stands apart. Frustrated with a wall-bound life, she grudgingly accepts it—until she hears the voice that no one else can hear.
Root's journey will take her into the wilds to discover the truth: that her world has been twisted by people trying to save it. And her choices will determine whether humankind's last ember flickers out.
A rural-dystopian novel exploring post-apocalyptic Amish country, a society shaped by fear, and private choices that remake the world.
This magical, terrifying, and whimsical debut is a genuinely original and immersive take on post-apocalyptic SF. Several generations after an illness called the Nothing turned people into chimeras and destroyed civilization, only Amish culture has survived. Root, the blind daughter of the village weaver, asks too many questions and is often suspected of being infected with the Nothing. She grudgingly accepts her otherness within her regimented life until a tragedy in the community causes her to hear a voice that no one else can. Pushed to her limits and forced to question everything she has been taught, Root finds herself solely responsible for the fate of the world. In a departure from tales of grim technological nightmares, this not-quite-dystopian novel focuses on folk storytelling with Root at its center, now old and recounting her life story to future generations and the personal nature of questioning what is normal. Every word is placed as carefully as a quilt square. This is a welcome breath of fresh air and calm after the apocalyptic storm. (BookLife)