Howdy folks, and welcome to another visit to the Otherworld. Once again, we’re sticking to a planet we know, but in today’s case, it’s a version of our planet that we’re wholly unfamiliar with. What would happen it if it all went wrong? Well, that’s what Tribes dares to explore.
Author Mia Frances is making a name for herself with the recent releases of her grittier stories. Her latest, Tribes, is a blend of a lot of things. Because of the nature of the story, it sees components of science fiction, gritty survival horror, post-apocalyptic adventure, and even bouts of romance. Somehow, it all works to great effect, though readers who don’t want to see everything through a bright and beautiful lens are probably more apt to enjoy and appreciate it. Frances doesn’t shy away from showing her audience what lies in the shadows, that is for certain.
Alex is taking her sisters and their kids to her camp in the Adirondacks, when the unthinkable happens. The radio warns them the country is under attack and they must seek immediate shelter. Greeted by guns and bullets when they try to find refuge, they are forced to hide in a cave to wait out the fallout. After two weeks in their dank hole, they’re wasting away from starvation.
Things are made worse when Alex discovers her sisters have gone. They’ve taken the rented minibus, abandoned their children, and returned to the city in search of their husbands, leaving Alex to care for her seven nieces and nephews. It’s an arduous 35-mile hike through the mountains to her camp. Alex worries the kids won’t survive the ordeal…but they do! It’s a journey through hell.
Society is disintegrating. Chaos reigns as looters, murderers, and rapists now hold sway. The hamlets and villages they pass through have been turned into killing fields as armed survivors battle each other for the few remaining supplies. Along the way, Alex rescues two orphans whose mother was murdered by the marauders.
In her struggle to keep the children alive, Alex stumbles on a hidden cache of food only to discover it’s guarded by a man who’ll haunt her nightmares. Half guardian angel, half demon. Both barbarian and benefactor. A strange mixture of brutality and gentleness, cruelty and caring. A man named Wolf!
If you’re into dystopian fiction about the determination of the human spirit, with a healthy dose of suspenseful grit and darkness, and a splash of science fiction layered over top of it, you’ll love Frances’s book. The author is great at everything because she enjoys everything, and finds a way to seamlessly sew the different components together. This look at our broken world, thrust into chaos and violence, is certainly a harrowing one, and it takes a talented storyteller to pull that off and make it enjoyable. Frances achieves just that, and shows us a few bright spots between the cracks. Check out Tribes on Amazon today!
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