Afterland by Lauren Beukes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
By now, a lot of us have read a lot of dystopias featuring sexual politics, often accompanied with some major disaster that leaves women a huge minority (The Book of Etta) or (The White Plague) or any number of bigger named modern authors.
This one flips the script. Men are seriously endangered.
The few men left must deal with the patriarchy of women. :) Yes, patriarchy. Because let's face it, patriarchies are learned.
All told, I loved the worldbuilding. There are a lot of great easter eggs and the research for the plague itself was brilliant. The characterizations of Cole and Billy and Miles was pretty fantastic. It reads like a convoluted cat-and-mouse, being on the run from the government and even from themselves.
My only real concern is not a dealbreaker, but a personal preference. The religious bits were fascinating and weird and well-thought-out BUT it wasn't exactly to my taste. Or maybe it was, but where it eventually led was... weird. Maybe that's a product of having read soooo many dystopias where religion gets funky automatically, but I'll give Afterland this: it doesn't go the same direction as the rest. :)
All told, I DO love the whole After-Man take on the world. :) It's more down-to-earth and pretty damn realistic compared to, say, The Power. Afterland is more character-led. I'm glad I got to read it.
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