Lost in a forest
released OUT NOW! 352 pages | Paperback/ebook
Author Jim Carrington
We’re used to postapocalyptic stories set in worlds governed by evil corporations, devastated by natural disasters or destroyed by plagues. It takes some seriously bad luck to live in a world in which the three have combined – but bad luck seems to be the general way of life for little Jesper, aka Boy 23.
After a horrific meteorite strike unleashed a deadly Marsh Flu, the money-grabbing Huber corporation imprisoned Jesper – possibly patient zero – in a room for his entire life. When he’s unexpectedly kidnapped and released in a forest, he has to go on the run... which is tricky, given that he’s never seen another human being. One thing he is good at, though, is healing himself when he’s hurt – and given that he can’t seem to stay out of trouble, that’s rather handy.
Boy 23 is a rattlingly good read, although occasionally clichéd (an orphanage run by nasty priests, for example) and the way it switches between characters can be choppy. Still, it’s given poignancy by its location (Bohemia, hence everybody speaks German – cue parallels to Nazism) and a rather nifty twist or two along the way. And as for the sheltered Jesper himself, his worldview is fascinating. Intriguing storytelling. Jayne Nelson