The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
(Excerpt from Goodreads) The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.
Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen’s life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.
Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler’s Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler’s Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.
It has been 20 years since the war. Basically the world is setting on the brink of war over oil and such. When two backpackers in China are caught and accused of being spies, the war starts. It began with nukes but lead to P11H3, Eleventh Plague, a modified flu virus the killed most people in the world. Now all that is left are bands of scavengers, slavers, and small communities.
Stephen Quinn is fifteen years old and lives with his father scavenging along the east coast. When Stephen and his dad stumble upon the wreck of a B-88, everything changes. They run into a couple slavers. After they release the slaves and almost get caught themselves, Stephens father has an accident and ends up in a coma.
When another group of people come along, Stephen is hesitant to go with them back to their community but he knows they will be able to help his father. At Settler’s Landing, Stephen is surprised to see school, harvest feasts, and all the kids. But he is most surprised at the Chinese girl since the war with China.
Wanting to take care of his father, be part of the group, and also being attracted to Jenny, Stephen is torn. When a prank gone wrong gets the settlers planning to attack another community, Stephen and Jenny discovery slavers. Now they have to try to protect Settler’s Landing before the slavers kill everyone and burn it to the ground.
I like the premise of the story. Even though it is completely against how Stephen has grown up, he likes the closeness of Settler’s Landing. I liked Jenny. With all the prejudice the she receives, she puts up one heck of a fight to stand her ground. The only thing I didn’t like was the story was a little short. I felt that if it was a little longer there could have been more development. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked the story and if you like the apocalyptic stories, you will like this. I will definitely be reading more of Jeff Hirsch’s work.
I received this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.
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