The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
But this is a better kind of mystery novel.
One that's simultaneously post-apocalyptic SF and a hopeful social experiment and a thoughtful quest to *understand* in the middle of an ongoing pastoral murder investigation.
Wait! Isn't this what happened in the previous novel? Well, sure, somewhat, but no two murders or struggling communities are the same. The world-building here is pretty cool. So much has been lost, but solar cars and sophisticated birth control is a sign of the kind of social setup that's left to these frontier settlers. To have a banner is to be allowed to procreate. To have enough to live on is more so much more important than to hoard or amass anything at all.
And below that is the fear. The fear that they might herald in another Fall.
But it's not all dark. This is some of the most hopeful post-apocalypse novels I've read and the good mashup with deep murder investigations reminds me more of The Name of the Rose than anything else.
This particular novel introduces us to the people on the outside of these hopeful Banner communities, and I was particularly fascinated by the interplay and the lies and the reveals on both sides.
I think I may have enjoyed this one better than the first, too! :) Well worth checking out!
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