Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Scavengers - CD Echterling
Author: CD Echterling
"Scavengers" is a post apocalyptic science fiction novel set in the ruins of North America. Due to some calamity in the past, many people had fled south into Latin America. As time passed people began to return to the North in an attempt to rebuild and find a place of their own. However, upon returning they encounter a form of humanity known as "dregs" who are descendents of the people who were unable or unwilling to flee.
The story itself follows Thomas Martin, a scientist who is heading up a research project to try and understand the epidemic of cancers that is slowly eroding the population. However, his main interest is around trying to prove his own controversial theory that dregs are actually just like every other human and they only act in the way they do due to environmental factors. When his research begins to show that his theory may be true an attempt is made to silence him which forces him to flee the city and join the dreg's more violent and tribal society.
It was a very interesting story that held my interest from start to finish as I got to follow the immersion of a civilized man into a more basic and violent society. Thomas' interaction with the dregs and his own conversion into a scavenger and hunter was skilfully presented in a believable and entertaining manner. It was thoroughly enthralling to actually see the more tribal and violent elements of post apocalyptic societies portrayed in a non "evil/bad guy" style manner.
Unfortunately the elements of the story around the people still living in the city weren't as well presented. Whilst the continued struggle against the progressively more controlling military was entertaining I think there were too many threads that were either left un-resolved or fleshed out. For example, there was still no resolution to why the dregs had built up an immunity to cancer and I didn't ever understand why the people in power remained so obsessed with Thomas once he had escaped into the wild. However, I will add that none of this actually detracted from my overall enjoyment of the novel.
The characters within in the story were all well written and utterly captivating. I really felt like I could relate to the both the city dwellers and the dregs even though their society was so different from our own. In addition, all the interactions and motivations seemed realistic and natural given the context of their environment. I really did fall in love with many of the people in this book.
There is one major issue with the book though that could put off many readers and this is in relation to grammatical errors. There are a few throughout the novel and whilst it didn't bother me I know there are some people who would find it distracting.
Overall, I found this to be a thoroughly entertaining post apocalyptic novel that took an interesting look at the way in which a civilized person can resort to a more savage lifestyle. For anyone interested in this genre I can't help but recommend it enough provided you are not that bothered about typos and grammatical faux pas.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge