Ruin's Wake by Patrick Edwards

9/10 Ruin's Wake is descriptive, dark and even if it concerns the future, it has us wondering what kind of past the people had before it was erased.

In Zero Bomb, Remi tries to find the daughter he thought was dead; here Patrick Edwards has Cale going on a journey to find his son, Bowden, who is dying. The press release had this down as a science fiction novel, but I think it is much more than that. The way it is written made me think of the hard sci-fi I have read before.

Ruin's Wake takes place in a totalitarian future where the world's history has been erased and the people have to embrace a future of obeying the state, and like being at school, you are not an individual with your own mind, but a slave who follows an ordered path daily. The story concerns three people who defy the state to go on a journey of their own; an ex-soldier trying to find his son, a woman fleeing an abusive husband and a female scientist who discovers a technology that helps her find more secrets of their planet.

Kelbee works at a factory where her superior is more like a prison guard. Life there is hard, with everyone afraid of angering their bosses. Her salvation is her joining a rebel organisation through a man she has grown fond of. Cale has to struggle with an angry bosun to see his son and realise there is no way back after leaving the confines of what was anything but home.

Ruin's Wake is descriptive, dark and even if it concerns the future, it has us wondering what kind of past the people had before it was erased. As we see their past is not kept secret for long, and a scientist finds out what they did that could have consequences for their future. Their current state is an awful one where Kelbee mentions there are watchmen in the streets and checkpoints, even neighbours who report on each other for fear of being reprimanded themselves. Such a future we hope we would never see, but even writers have in the past had a knack of being able to predict the future. Patrick Edwards leads us into his dark world of a future we would never think possible, though these characters are so believable that theirs us a future they can help change for the better.

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