hardcover, 416 pages

Published July 27, 2020 by Mulholland Books.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

Most of the men are dead. Three years after the pandemic known as The Manfall, governments still hold and life continues -- but a world run by women isn't always a better place.

Twelve-year-old Miles is one of the last boys alive, and his mother, Cole, will protect him at all costs. On the run after a horrific act of violence-and pursued by Cole's own ruthless sister, Billie -- all Cole wants is to raise her kid somewhere he won't be preyed on as a reproductive resource or a sex object or a stand-in son. Someplace like home.

To get there, Cole and Miles must journey across a changed America in disguise as mother and daughter. From a military base in Seattle to a luxury bunker, from an anarchist commune in Salt Lake City to a roaming cult that's all too ready to see Miles as the answer to their …

1 edition

Serious fun.

5 stars

The timing is a bit ironic, a plague book being released just as COVID19 was becoming a household word.

The central plot device is a plague that kills almost all y-chromosome bearers. This leaves plenty of room for sly observations on human nature.

The surviving boy (Miles) spends much of the book disguised as a girl. This is a purely practical thing, I don't think people looking for a trans-kid coming of age story will find it here. On the other hand I do think it looks at coming of age issues related to sexuality and (fluidity-of) gender in a respectful and authentic way.

The main villain/anti-hero is Miles' aunt Billy who is charismatic and funny but narcissistic to the level of being dangerous to herself and others. She seemed like a not-so-heavily-veiled dig at the "heroic-entrepreneur", but I might just be projecting my own biases.

Miles' mother Cole is …

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4 stars