Book Review – All That’s Left In The World by Erik J. Brown

When Andrew stumbles upon Jamie’s house, he’s injured, starved, and has nothing left to lose. A deadly pathogen has killed off most of the world’s population, including everyone both boys have ever loved. And if this new world has taught them anything, it’s to be scared of what other desperate people will do . . . so why does it seem so easy for them to trust each other?

After danger breaches their shelter, they flee south in search of civilization. But something isn’t adding up about Andrew’s story, and it could cost them everything. And Jamie has a secret, too. He’s starting to feel something more than friendship for Andrew, adding another layer of fear and confusion to an already tumultuous journey.

The road ahead of them is long, and to survive, they’ll have to shed their secrets, face the consequences of their actions, and find the courage to fight for the future they desire, together. Only one thing feels certain: all that’s left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other. ”

[from Goodreads]

Wow, this debut novel from Erik J. Brown certainly packs a punch.

A super-flu pandemic has swept the world and wiped out most of the population. In this post-pandemic world it is everyone for themselves until an injured Andrew turns up on the doorstep of Jamie’s remote cabin.

What follows is a journey of survival, forgiveness, self-discovery and bravery.

As Andrew and Jamie set out on a journey down the east coast of the USA they fight for their lives, find pockets of surprising humanity, stumble across communities re-building, and ultimately, they find a love that makes them both stronger.

It was so interesting to read the Author’s note at the end of the book saying that it was written before Covid changed the world. As he says, he was “tired of not seeing queer representation in post-apocalyptic stories” so he wrote his own.

Initially I did find the whole global pandemic wipes out most of the population of the world storyline quite anxiety inducing given what we have all gone through over the last few years.

And whilst that unease never fully left me while I was reading the book, that didn’t stop me falling in love with Andrew, James and some of the characters they found along their journey – particularly Henri.

I have to say I particularly liked the ending. Now this is spoiler-free, so I won’t say what that ending is… but I would be interested to hear what other readers think.

The global pandemic setting of this book may not make it a read for everyone right now, but if that doesn’t deter you, this is definitely a recommended read.

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