Rave Reviews Log: Science Fiction

May 10, 2010

Epitaph Road

By David Patneaude
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

It is the year 2097.  Thirty years before, a crippling disease swept the world, killing 97 percent of the male population.  In the resulting chaos, women took the reins, eliminating war and violent crimes and funneling funds into healthcare, ending world hunger, the environment and other social reforms.  And women decided that to keep things this way, they would make sure the male population never exceeded 5 percent.  Men may no longer hold any positions of power.  Some men have rejected the control, and live in nearly all-male communities on the fringes of civilization, like Kellen's dad.  Kellen is one of the 5 percent of males, 14 years old, living in Seattle in a house filled with women with his biggest worry passing his academic trials.  His mother is fairly high up in the PAC, the ruling organization and he sees her rarely.  But on one of her visits home, he inadvertently, through a teacher and some suspicious bits of overheard information, Kellen and his new friends Sunday and Tia piece together a dangerous picture--that maybe, just maybe, the virus that killed most of the world's men, wasn't as random as they thought.  And that maybe, that virus is about to unleashed again, in the town where Kellen's father lives.  Are they right?  And can they warn him in time?  This is a gripping vision of the future, where perhaps the world might be a better place, but at a terrible cost.  Lots of action makes this an exciting read, and fans may be interested in reading about another "perfect" world in The Giver by Lois Lowry.