Trigger warnings ahoy.
Read for the SPFBO, this is the second book I dove into once we had our shortlist of ten.
Straight up – this book is problematic.
Pell is travelling with Keilie who is the daughter of the woman who previously spurned him. At times he is attracted to ‘the warmth of her young body pressed against him’ and notes the ‘mounting attraction’, but ultimately has doomed himself for her mother that he will never get – which is quite a underwhelming and sick trope, if we’re honest. He also kisses her ‘to unlock her magic’ or some damn thing, and considers a range of things (ranging from physically beating to rape all for having her own plan).
Because this book has little going for it – female protagonist who is walked all over by a clumsy and sad-puppy-male, add to this the typos and throw in the ending that I had to skim-read for my own mental-health (why does she never see the warning bells? Anyone who feels their entire life is ruined by one person is not well; it’s not romantic, it is grossly idealising unhealthy fixations.
Other than all that, world-building in post-apocalyptic worlds is always a favourite. The fight scenes were decent. It was short.