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Thursday, August 31, 2017

All the Little Children by Jo Furniss

Setting: Shropshire, England
Genre: Apocalyptic Suspense
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Author: Jo Furniss
Release Date: September 1, 2017

Marlene and her sister-in-law, Joni, head into the wilderness with their kids. Getting away seems like the perfect activity to keep Marlene's children from watching their father walk away. Joni joins her for a weekend of bonding and fresh air.

On their first day, one of Marlene's sons spots smoke in the distance. After a night of getting no cell service, despite having a cell tower nearby, the families opt to head into town to pick up supplies. What they find there is shocking. Everyone they find is dead and seems to have just dropped dead in the middle of whatever they were doing.

Soon, Marlene and Joni find they're not the only survivors of whatever happened. Joni finds one "lost boy" and takes him under her wing. They learn there are others. Marlene fears that if they save others, they'll put their own families at risk. Food supplies are limited and in this uncertain every-man-for-himself environment, they must think of themselves.

Strengths and Weaknesses

From the start, All the Little Children had an Earth Abides meets Lord of the Flies vibe. I loved how quickly the story drew me in. It definitely had some gritty, gruesome scenes, but in an apocalyptic setting, things aren't always going to be pretty. I'm thrilled the author stayed true to realities.

There were things I struggled with a bit. There are a lot of kids to keep track of. I ended up having to jot down a family tree of sorts to make sure I knew who was who and what age they were. Once I did that, the characters were easier to follow.

RTR's Bottom Line

If you read All the Little Children, be prepared that this is the first in a series. You're going to find some aspects of the story line are not neatly wrapped up in a tidy bow. I'm hearing buzz that some readers were upset by that. I think if you're okay with investing your time into a series, you'll love this book.

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