Edgy, provocative, gripping and forceful, Epitaph Road delivers as a chilling thriller set in the near future. In 2067, a plague descends upon the world killing nearly all the world's male population. Thirty years later, Kellen gets a weird lesson in history from his teacher. It seems through her lesson, she's hinting that the plague may have been planned-- that someone wanted to kill off the male population.
When a second launch of Elisha's Bear seems imminent, Kellen runs off to save his own father and a few other men known as loners--those who survived the first plague and now live away from the female population.
Boys growing up in this matriarchal society are considered inferior beings. In the thirty years since most men died, society has little or no crime, no prisons and no wars. Women live in peace but not in freedom. Kellen has a chance to expose the truth about the plague and the new government.
The novel is built upon an interesting concept and could easily lead to lively book club discussions or classroom discussions on gendercide, sexism, and prejudice.
Highly, highly recommended grades 8-up. some mild language
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, Librarian. Read this and other YA reviews on my blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com
In the year 2067 a plague (Elisha’s Bear) went through the land and wiped out 97% of the male population. Now the world is run by women and after 30 years there are no wars, crimes are virtually non-existent -- leaving the prisons empty. Money is put toward education, health care, medical research and environmental concerns.
Now enter 2097 where Kellen Dent is in the 5% minority of males who are allowed in this new world. The number of males is strictly controlled and the women are totally in charge.
So is this dystopian world really better now that men are almost non-existent?
There are still remote areas where groups of men live quietly and separately from the rest of the world. But the plague keeps hitting those areas too. Why does it isolate itself to populations of mainly men?
Kellen’s mother, who works for the Population Apportionment Council, is secretly working on something. One day Kellen overhears her say that there is a plague that is headed for Afterlife where Kellen’s dad lives. After his Aunt Paige disappears and he realizes his mother does not care if his dad survives or not, Kellen knows he is the only one to warn his dad.
Kellen’s friend Tia has been doing some of her own research and is coming to some startling conclusions. What and who is really behind Elisha’s Bear? How is Kellen’s mother involved?
Kellen and his friends head to Afterlife to find his dad only to find there are many more questions than answers. When they get there they learn things that are much worse than they can imagine. Can they save the lives of the men in Afterlife? Who will survive as this story comes to a dramatic conclusion?
Recommended by Joleen Waltman , Librarian, Idaho, USA
EPITAPH ROAD by David Patneaude, Trailer by Naomi Bates