If you had said to me a year ago that I would be reading a lot more dystopian fiction, I would probably have cringed. I like to think I’m not a trendy reader. But apparently, the post-apocalyptic thing has sucked me in. Can’t believe I just typed that, but hey, I love MaddAddam, and this, to me, is the middle-grade answer to it.
I have seen this book compared to The Hunger Games, and it is an apt comparison. But it is, to me, a kinder, gentler version. It does not have the blatant brutality of that series — in this book (which will also be a series), there is a strong sense of community, and a lot of good, honest characters. Did I make it sound too tame? It’s not. There is plenty of action, and some desperate people who are forced to violence, but it doesn’t have the mind games that were so integral to The Hunger Games plot. With a strong girl and boy as protagonists, it is a good fit for either gender, which is not an easy feat.
What I find funny about this book and others like it, is that the recreated world is often what we started with, before we got so caught up in technology. It’s like we all really want to be pioneers, but are too embarrassed to admit it. Honestly, if you took out some of the side effects of World War III in this book, you wouldn’t be too far off Little House on the Prairie. And I mean that in the best possible way. This is old school, scavenging for yourself, and trying to make your life and your world better. The new world that Eddleman has created is just the old world, stripped of most of the stuff that caught us up the first time. It’s sad to think that we can’t envision a future without destroying the world we know, but maybe that’s why fiction sometimes helps us figure these things out.