Title: The Long Road: A Story of the World Hereafter
Author: S. L. MacLellan
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
ARC provided by S.L. Maclellan in exchange for an honest review. The exchange does not affect my opinion of the book or my review on it.
It was fifty years ago when the Bombs fell and the world was brought to a screeching halt. But humanity is stubborn, and a new world is being built from the ashes of the Time Before.
For Locke, surviving in this land is hard enough between the flesh-rending sandstorms, ravenous mutants, and the daily challenges of protecting a young child from a harsh world. While traveling along the Long Road – the only path to civilization – in search of revenge he is caught up in the machinations of an enigmatic warlord known only as “Phoenix.” To make matters worse, the warlord seems to know Locke… and he’s looking to slake the wasteland’s thirst with Locke’s blood.
Welcome to the World Hereafter…
Stepping out of your comfort zone can bring many surprises….
You know your girl over here only reads romance. I’m a romance addict. But, I took the jump and was rewarded with a book I didn’t think I would enjoy as much as I did.
S.L Maclellan was gracious enough to gift me an ARC of his debut book The Long Road: A Story of the World Hereafter. A, what I can only describe as, a post-apocalyptic fantasy western novel.
I know. Something way out of my comfort zone and with elements I usually stay away from.
The story follows Locke as he tries to survive in an unforgiving world ravaged by mutants, crazed-humans, monstrous sandstorms and a vengeful villain called Phoenix, all with a toddler in tow. Seeking shelter is his mission but no matter where Locke goes, trouble seems to always find him.
Locke was a serious and brooding individual shrouded in the shadows of his past. His determination on getting the child to safety and unwillingness to stray from the one mission he gave himself regardless of the circumstances were an admirable quality. He was a man of honor and of duty with little patience for distractions, an unwilling hero of sorts (he was just trying to get the kid to safety). This was a man that had gotten the butt end of the stick but still chose to do good. I was instantly rooting for him to achieve his purpose.
The world building in this novel was paced throughout the novel, focusing on building it through each setting rather than globally. You catch glimpses of a desolate world with each chapter you read, the stage slowly building its way up to the climax where the feel of just how bleak things are really hit.
Overall, the story was interesting. I enjoyed the underlining message of even in the darkest of times, kindness and hope will prevail; Humanity will prevail.
Things I didn’t like:
- There were some chapters I felt were not necessary to the overall story. They can possibly be relevant later on in the story however.
- Certain characters were a bit flat/were just there for the moment. I couldn’t connect with them or believe in them
Things I did like:
- AJ and Locke
- We get tid bits into Lockes past as the story progresses, keeping Locke a mystery.
- The reveal of who Phoenix is.
- The World Building when it came to the towns
- The lack of romance (no romance is better than forced romance, and this book definitely did not have the space for romance)