Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I would first like to the author, Michael Farris Smith for sending me his book Rivers!
Following years of devastating storms, the new boundary line for the United States has been drawn ninety miles north of the Gulf Coast. The government is no longer able to provide services or the protection for people living in the storm ravaged areas, leaving them to their own devices. Cohen lives an isolated existence made less lonely by a stray dog and horse and punctuated only by supply runs. Bound to his Mississippi home by the loss of his wife and unborn child, he is forced to leave his land when his supplies are stolen by a pair of young thieves. While tracking them down, he discovers a group of survivors led by a very disturbing preacher determined to give life to the area through the women he is holding captive. Cohen is faced with the task of saving the preacher’s victims, but restricted by his past and his secrets, Cohen makes his journey through the relentless landscape. The pages of this novel are filled with the deceptively simple, richly layered sentences that trace his characters’ thoughts, both past and present. While much of Rivers is true to the grim tones common in dystopian fiction, there is a thread of hope running through the novel directly connected to Smith’s brilliantly developed characters.
One of the most hauntingly distinctive aspects of the novel is its realistic setting. Though seemingly endless apocalyptic stories have been written in recent years, the depleted and divided land Smith creates does not feel far off. Rather than wandering an Earth scorched by a mysterious disease or unknown savagery, Cohen is plagued by the same disastrous storms Americans encounter today. The author has skillfully filled his violent, dangerous tale with hope and love, making it a stand out, unforgettable read.
This book is a bleak and brutal story about survival and to what ends people will go to continue to live. I would recommend this book to anyone who is not afraid to get their feet wet!