Shelter. Book 1 of The Aftermath. By Dave Hutchinson

‘A hundred years ago, The Sisters came, a string of asteroid strikes that destroyed civilization and brought on a decades-long winter.’

After the initial disaster, a century of storms in England brings disease, infighting, and the decimation of all technology the world once knew. Small enclaves, clans, and even a major port or two has survived, but any cohesion is gone and with it much of humanity. Dave Hutchinson’s Shelter is great speculative, apocalyptic fiction, the type that has you constantly questioning, what if?

Hutchinson starts the novel with three threads running parallel to each other: a spy is trying to infiltrate a town run by a self-styled dictator, a group of families have turned on each other in a small hamlet, and a once in-love couple tries to find a way to live together. Power and greed attempt to balance themselves with community and love throughout the country, but a lack of resources sparks feuds all over.

Halfway through the novel, there is a twist. A jump off a cliff that rattles the plot in the greatest way. The shifting points of view, the heavy consequences, and the many exciting characters make this a compulsive read. And as one plot line shifts into the foreground, the others stay in the reader’s mind, guessing when it will come back.

I enjoyed Shelter and found myself frequently wanting to skip ahead, the mark of a good thrill ride for me. The best mainstream comparison I can make would be The Walking Dead, but obviously without the zombies. Several strong yet complex leaders try to save their version of civilization. I also thought Hutchinson did a commendable job setting up for his next book in the series. I don’t want to give away anything, but the worldbuilding and characters in this one will have people coming back for more

4 out of 5 stars

Releases on June 12th.

Thank you to NetGalley, Rebellion Publishing, Solaris Books, and Dave Hutchinson for the advanced copy for review.

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