Toby’s world is now just Dad and Sylvie and their boat after the “red fever” virus killed Mum and so many, many people. Scavenging supplies from the abandoned Scottish coastal towns is complicated by huge packs of wild dogs. It seems like the dogpacks are systematically attacking the few remaining human outposts, but how can dogs communicate such detailed plans?
When little Sylvie becomes ill, Toby and Dad know they must travel to Aberdeen to find medicine at a hospital, somehow sneaking past the ruthless men who control its harbor with fire and guns. On the way, they rescue a young teen and his dog, learning that Jamie’s mother remained in the city, researching the new intelligence of the dogpacks and their leader dog, nicknamed Cerberus.
Can Dad get the Lucky Lady safely past the pirates’ harbor guns? Can Toby and Jamie find enough antibiotics to save Sylvie? Is Jamie’s mother still alive in Aberdeen? Does Cerberus really communicate with the other dogs and plan to take over the whole land?
Winner of the 2010 Kelpies Prize, this is an exciting tale of a possible future from first-time novelist Caroline Clough, who promises more books about the difficult times after the Red Fever.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA