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Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death Of Corey Sanderson by Emmy Jackson

01/11/2011. Contributed by J.L. Jamieson

Buy Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death Of Corey Sanderson in the USA - or Buy Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death Of Corey Sanderson in the UK

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pub: CreateSpace. 378 page paperback.. Price: GBP 8.10 UK, $14.95 US E-book: GBP 4.19 (UK), $5.99 (US). ISBN: 978-146371-542-7).

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A post-apocalyptic America is a dangerous place for scavengers, let alone a woman like Ivy Aniram. She is untouched by an epidemic that ravaged humanity known as Empty Cradle, a virus that leaves its victims infertile and marked on their faces for all to see. She is ambushed and nearly killed on the road, her truck stolen. Things look bleak but then the village her attacker stops in, rescues her and saves her life. They demand a hefty price in return, wanting a child born of her womb. Ivy doesn’t want to be stuck in a tiny bible thump town, away from the road and her delivery obligations.

She is aided in her escape by a young farm boy eager to leave his rural life in her rear-view mirror. Corey Sanderson may be naive and ignorant of the world outside of his village, but he jumps into a 2300 mile trek with a stranger with enthusiasm that’s hard to deny. Ivy takes him under her wing to teach him how to be a Scavenger, grudgingly warming to the awkward youth as she is reminded of the Scavs, who taught her the business and set her on the road.

Ivy takes on some strange passengers: a mysterious travelling historian, a deer shape-shifter and his cheerfully violent female mercenary companion. Their trek across the country to deliver a mysterious cargo takes them through territory populated by travelling militia determined to rebuild the crumbled States, half-human biters, bandits and equipment thieving gleaners. Ivy will need the help of her travelling companions to deliver her cargo and to find something even more important hidden out in the sands of Strip City.

Jackson creates dynamic, interesting characters that quickly gain dimension and life. The post-apocalyptic world in the story has depth and detail, immediately drawing the reader into an adventure than spans across an America we barely recognise, filled with characters reminiscent of the tough settlers who first populated the badlands and rough country of early America. The people are tough and they band together to make sense of a countryside filled with dangers that are both natural and human made.

The characters are likeable but still real, they have flaws that make them interesting and endearing. It’s an engaging read that only disappoints because it ends. Hopefully, a sequel is soon to follow.

J.L. Jamieson

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