As always I want to start by saying that I was given a copy of this to review as part of a @HenryRoiPR book tour. My review is honest and left voluntarily. #HenryRoiPR #Ad #Gifted #HenryRoiBookTour #WhatBranchesGrow #TSBeier
If you love The Road, The Walking Dead, The Fallout Games Series or Mad Max the chances are you will love What Branches Grow. T.S. Beier takes us on a quest through post-apocalyptic America where human nature is now torn between the desire to forge connection and the violent desperation to survive. A truly unflinching ‘what if’ of life after the end of civilsation as we know it where trust is the hardest thing to achieve and to give. Delia is driven from her home by loss and sets out to the North to find a future. Gennero is tortured by a violent past and a devotion to his hometown. Ordered to apprehend Delia he follows her into the new landscape of America. The wastes are full of dangers; raider, dictatorial leaders, mutated humans and increasingly hungry wildlife. A truly deep look into the human condition when pushed to the brink.
I have to say I adore good post-apocalyptic media. Sometimes just for the ‘what if’ stories, action and speculation but also for the way you can examine the human condition in such extreme circumstances. Beier does this with no holds barred. Their world is dark, bleak and dangerous where people would often rather kill than ask questions or risk being stabbed in the back. The main characters, Delia and Gennero, are perfect because they are imperfect. They are not truly morally good or bad but are doing what they must to survive in the new world order and that made me like them all the more.
I have to say that characterisation I think is Beier’s ultimate strong point and as someone who loves well rounded characters I adored this novel. While we focus mainly on Gennero and Delia we have a growing cast of other characters who are all well developed and add to the momentum of the story. While the genre is easy to fall into the trap of simple tropes Beier does manage to make it their own despite there being instances that may be familiar to fans of series such as Fallout and Mad Max, What Branches Grow keeps its own voice and story.
Not one to usually enjoy a ‘love story’ the one contained in What Branches Grow did get me hooked. I think it is the setting juxtaposed with the sometimes tenderness of them to each other. The ending, although I avoid, spoilers, was just perfection in my opinion. It highlighted that while the world was hostile they had each other and would face whatever came there way and I actually adored that.
If you love post-apocalyptic adventure fiction you can’t go wrong with this one.
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