Withered + Sere is a dystopian, or post apocalyptic novel. It’s the first of two books (as far as I know) and the story takes place in Idaho, after a terrible incident. The world is now a wasteland, with nothing ‘good’ left, only people trying to survive and those called “Dead Rabbits”, cannibals and murderers.
The setting and the plot reminded me a lot of the Fallout video game series, especially since the main protagonist, or antagonist, I’m not really sure what to classify him as yet, has a dog as a companion. That’s the setting of Fallout 4 too. But this world is way more brutal, and grotesque, and the novel is full of graphic descriptions. So if you’re sensitive to gore and mutilation, for example, this is not for you. I can’t handle things like that in a visual format, but text doesn’t affect me as much. I did physically cringe at a few points but it wasn’t anything too bad.
We follow the story of a guy named Cavalo, who after some unfortunate events, ends up with one of the Dead Rabbits in his custody. There is a lot of hostility, some kisses (which just made everything feel more intense because he would be loving a cannibal??) and a lot of bitching. People don’t trust Cavalo, people don’t trust the Dead Rabbit, but the newly formed government needs him and he’s sure as heck not going to give him up. The novel kinda ends at a cliffhanger so I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, but the Dead Rabbit is very useful.
It’s a really neat dystopian novel, bringing out the best and worst of a post apocalyptic world. The people suck, the government suck, the world sucks.. But people are trying to make the best of it and survive. As a bonus, the novel includes a sarcastic robot, which is pretty great. Reminds me a lot of Codsworth, again from Fallout 4.
If you like dystopian and post apocalyptic fiction, I’d recommend this one. I rated it 5/5 on Goodreads because it’s honestly one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. Well worth it. I’ve already started on the second novel, Crisped + Sere, so I’m looking forward to the continuation of this.