Series: Forager #1
Author: Peter R. Stone
Published: November 20th 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
The Skel are ramping up their attacks on Newhome's foraging teams and infesting Melbourne's ruins in ever greater numbers. Is this part of a larger plan that could spell the town's doom?
Meanwhile, the last thing Ethan expects when he and his companions rescue a two-car convoy from the Skel is a Japanese teenage girl with an outlandish dress-sense, who after they take her back to Newhome, goes to great lengths to ingratiate herself into his life. But is it in gratitude for saving her life or is she seeking something more?
And what a quandry she places him in, for he knows the rules, that no man is permitted to be alone with an unmarried woman. But how can he drive such a gentle soul away when she touchs his heart so deeply, even though she clearly carries the pain of a broken heart.
At the same time, Newhome's police force, the Custodians, are suspicious of Ethan's foraging team's successes and are pulling out the stops to find out which member of his team has the illegal mutant ability that gives them an edge over the other teams. Should these peacekeepers discover Ethan is the mutant they seek, they will haul him away and dissect him like a frog.
Hearing feminine footsteps in the street outside piqued my interest, so I spun around and froze in shock when Nanako walked into the Recycling-Works yard with Councillor Okada several steps behind her. In her hands was a small, black box wrapped in a checked-pattern handkerchief.
Upon spying me, her petite, round face lit up with joy and she ran over to me with lively steps. She bowed briefly, held out her hands, and said, "I made this for you."
I looked down at the beautiful lacquered wooden lunchbox and had no idea what to do. Just seeing her, a single girl, out here in Newhome's streets - although with a chaperone - was a concept so unfamiliar that my mind was spinning in confusion.
"For me?" was all I could think to say.
"It's obento," she said, nodding to encourage me to accept the home-cooked lunch.
Michal gave me a gentle shove in the back, whispering, "Go on, accept it, you drongo."
I stumbled forward a step and received the beautiful lunchbox, trying not to stammer as I replied, "This is wonderful, thank you, Nanako."
Sergeant King chose that moment to interrupt, sending a questioning glance towards Nanako and Councillor Okada. "Okay boys, the day's not getting any younger. Saddle up and move out!" He could have at least greeted them, the unsociable sod.
We clambered into the truck and as Michal drove us out of the yard, Nanako walked to the gate with Councillor Okada, where she stood quietly, watching us drive off. I flashed her a warm smile and waved, clutching her unexpected gift with my other hand. She bowed, and held it until we were out of sight.
The main character was fairly well developed. You get to know him on multiple levels. At times, he grated on my nerves, but overall definitely served his purpose in the story. The secondary characters were also quite well developed. There is someone for everyone to identify with, allowing you an easy journey through the story.
As a whole, this was an enjoyable, very YA oriented read. Stone’s post-apocalyptic take was unique & held me captivated throughout. I’d definitely recommend it to those who enjoy the genre.
A child of the Cold War Generation, Peter Stone studied the ramifications of a nuclear missile strike when he was in his senior year of high school, learning the effects of nuclear fallout and how to (hopefully) survive it. He has ever been drawn to post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels and films, and eagerly devoured The Day of the Triffids and John Christopher's Tripod Trilogy when he was a child.
Peter Stone graduated from Melbourne School of Ministries Bible College in 1988. He has been teaching Sunday School and playing the keyboard in church for over twenty-five years. His wife is from Japan and they have two wonderful children. Peter Stone has worked in the same games company for over twenty years, but still does not comprehend why they expect him to work all day instead of playing games.
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