I love dystopian novels. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the future. I love technical things, where math and science fuse with creativity to make a strange "maybe it could happen" novel. For a debut novel, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Appalachian Trail by Tim Wellman was an adventure, full of mystery, suspense, and enough steampunk mechanisms to make an engineer cream their pants.
In this novel, we find the characters in a dystopian future where all old electronics will never work again. Oil is worth far, far more than gold and there is no centralized government. Bandits roam wild over the wastelands between independent city-states. There are people known as Dark Children who were born during a period of death nearly two decades before. All of them remained small, slender, have gray hair, and purple eyes. They are also all geniuses like the world has never seen. People distrust them and they are all treated like second-class citizens.
Pip is a dark child and Seb is a professor. Together, they embark on a journey to find more oil and make themselves rich beyond their wildest dreams. Along the road, they meet others who want to share in their adventurous undertaking, while also protecting them from the many perilous places that lie between them and their goal.
Now, I must admit, most of the technical stuff is way over my head. I'm not a gear-head and this novel is very engineering-heavy. I bought this book on my Kindle app and showed a page of it to this college kid I work with. He said that's totally something he's going to buy now. He wants to be a space engineer of some sort...I don't really know because he talks way over my head about things I don't understand because I've never studied them. Much like this book.
So, as a non-engineering person, I was lost in the many sections of detailed mechanical descriptions. About a quarter of the way through the book, I began to skim over these parts. I guess it's like people who don't care about the setting and just skim for action scenes? I really did enjoy the action scenes, though.
I thought the characters were cute. Their banter was funny, well placed, and a little sexually charged. The genius of Pip, the dark child, is made apparent over and over as she solves problems and fixes machines she's never even seen before.
I really enjoyed this book. It's definitely not for everyone, but then--what book is? I really hope this book finds its audience and gains a following. If you like technical stuff and engineering heavy novels, this one is totally for you!