The Road is a River by Nick Cole

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Rating 8.5/10
As I have said before, this is a must-read trilogy for post-apocalyptic genre fans

What began in The Old Man and the Wasteland, then continued in The Savage Boy, now reaches its end in The Road is a River, the third and final novel in Nick Cole’s Wasteland Saga.

I have found the reading of these novels to be a pleasurable one. Written in the styles of Cormac McCarthy and Ernest Hemingway Cole uses words sparingly to create a minimalistic narrative that explores themes of survival, aging and hope reborn within a post-apocalyptic American Southwest.

Let’s keep this review simple. If you enjoyed The Old Man and the Wasteland and The Savage Boy you will also enjoy The Road is the River. The novel reunites us with characters from the first two novels (the Old Man and another whose name I will not give to avoid spoiling the read for others) and we again find ourselves within the Old Man’s mind, hearing not only his thoughts but the thoughts of his fictional friend, the old man from his prized possession, a copy of the novel The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. And so through the Old Man’s eyes we once again travel across a blighted landscape as the Old Man has one final mission to complete - he must save a group of army survivors escape their bunker and get them safely out of their highly radioactive environment.

Cole ends his trilogy well, there are genuinely moving moments (could the Old Man possibly find love?). It is a novel that brings together nicely the events of the first two and I was left satisfied with having been on a rewarding journey through a bleak landscape that cleverly managed to leave me uplifted. As I have said before, this is a must-read trilogy for post-apocalyptic genre fans. I also think the novels might be enjoyed more second-time around.

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