Sometimes new authors come in like the tide, slow and steady and eventually overwhelming. In Kassandra Montag’s case however it might be appropriate to say she’s coming in like a flood. The author’s first novel is due out in September, and to say it’s a riveting page turner would be doing it far less justice than it deserves.
After the Flood takes place years after a catastrophic flood has wiped out most of the continental United States, and most likely the world. Those who survived, do so by living on ships in the open water and in mountaintop colonies. The novel follows the story of Myra and her seven-year-old daughter Pearl, who spend their time fishing and scavenging for things they can trade for supplies at the few outposts that exist. Myra has another mission though, finding her daughter Row who was taken from her by her husband. For seven years she’s followed leads and gotten nowhere, when suddenly she encounters a dangerous stranger who tells her that Row was last seen in an encampment near the Arctic Circle. The trip is a perilous one, but Myra is willing to risk everything to get her eldest daughter back, and save her from a life of living on a breeding ship and being a slave to anyone who is willing to pay.
There have been stories and films made before about survivors of a worldwide flood, and even more about apocalyptic worlds, but After the Flood feels fresh and new. In this case it’s the relatable characters that make the story so compelling. You can feel Myra’s obsession and her doubts and fears. Even through you haven’t lived through the traumatic events that she has, you can understand how she became the person she is. Even the supporting characters, such as Pearl are relatable to the point that you can understand their motivations for doing what they are doing. This kind of novel can go one of two ways, one that focuses more on the events of what happened and how the characters fight to survive in the world in which they live, or one that focuses on the survivors and leaves the world as just a setting. This is one of the latter, and it does it so well that you fall into their world easily as if you are a part of it. You don’t know how the world became what it is, and it doesn’t matter. You just want to know more about the people in it.
After The Flood is an action-packed page-turning novel that will leave you wanting more after you read the final sentence. It will also have you asking yourself how you would react in a similar situation.