Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What this is:
A post-apocalyptic pastoral with mystery elements, with murder, light social corruption, with traces of old tech in a much-reduced future where simple ways are regulated with tight social pressures. Banners are referring to the right to have children... as if overpopulation was the true cause of the earlier devastations.
What this isn't:
A literary post-apocalyptic novel. It's not attempting an outright thematic-based artsy-fartsy post-apoc. Indeed, it focuses on a hopeful future with an interesting social setup that attempts at a very real fairness that really isn't the norm for these types of novels. I'm used to women being raped every other page, and nothing like that is happening here. It's a real delight to see! Almost as if people are somewhat DECENT or something.
I did mention it was a pastoral novel, and it very much is. There are no big blowouts despite the investigation of a murder. There are very deliberate and reflective tones here, a big sense of patience and delving into characterization, too, but it's all in the service of a big picture.
It's a big departure from the author's UF, but that's fine. I love to see different genres from authors I trust. :) I'm very interested in continuing the sequel, now, too! :)
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