One of Us by Craig DiLouie (Mini Review)

I’ve waited a couple days to collect my thoughts before sitting down and writing this review. This book does that to you. Graphic and raw, yet thoughtful and demanding. I didn’t know a lot about this one going in, but I had seen some buzz on Twitter and it peaked my interest.

A small town at a crossroads in an alternative Georgia in 1984. Located in Huntsville, The Home is one of the many boarding schools around the country for the genetic mutants. Since the outbreak in the late sixties, the young ‘Creepers’ have been sent away to be given basic education and trained for menial jobs. Most of the first wave of plague victims is now coming of age, and have become stronger in their special unique abilities.

A fine line of servitude, friendship, and violence occurs between the residents of the home and the people of Huntsville. And a couple of incidents spark what might become an all-out war. The reader follows characters on each side of the conflict: the sheriff, several locals, and some residents of the Home. Also to note, shorter chapters help the reader keep up with each character as the story progresses.

Yes, the violence is graphic and many of the scenes R-Rated, but the themes of segregation, the nature of help, and the treatment of the ‘other’ are very powerful. The ultimate message in this book just might be what every generation needs: Lest we not forget the awful treatment of people in our past and may we not see past abhorrent acts now.

A mature work that catches a tone and a selection of characters that all ring true. A vastly compelling read.

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