Keep together. Keep your eyes open. Keep your wits about you. The desert is unkind in the best of times. And the decade since the Civil War has been anything but the best of times for Daisy Wilcox-call her Willie-and her family. This tense, heart-pounding alternate history about a young woman fighting to survive the unthinkable will keep fans of Westworld and The Walking Dead reading late into the night. A horrifying sickness has spread across the West Texas desert. Infected people-shakes-attack the living, and the surviving towns are only as safe as their perimeter walls are strong. The state is all but quarantined from the rest of the country. Glory, Texas, is a near ghost town. Still, seventeen-year-old Willie has managed to keep her siblings safe, even after the sickness took their mother. But then her good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most merciless shake hunters in town, and Willie is left on the hook for his debt. With two young hunters as guides, Willie sets out across the desert to find her father. And the desert holds more dangers than just shakes. This riveting debut novel blends True Grit with 28 Days Later for an unforgettable journey.
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by Will Hill
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by Bridget E. Baker
"Guitar chords reverberate as Berquist's gritty postapocalyptic Western opens. An infectious disease ravages post-Civil War Texas, transforming people into ravenous corpses known as shakes and cutting off train access and Northern aid. Narrator Devon Sorvari captures Daisy "Willie" Wilcox's slight drawl and pragmatic tone as she sustains her close-knit siblings in a fortified town where they are surrounded by the dead and controlled by a man called The Judge. When saddled with her absentee father's debts, the resilient teen reluctantly hires shake hunters to accompany her across bleak and treacherous terrain to find him. Sorvari's keen depictions reflect characters faced with difficult decisions and experiencing intense emotions in this immersive alternate history. Spare prose and an insightful performance reveal heartbreaking strength, beauty, and hope in a world dominated by loss. J.R.T. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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