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Ashes Of The Earth

Ashes Of The Earth, April 2011
by Eliot Pattison

Counterpoint
Featuring: Hadrian Boone
370 pages
ISBN: 1582436444
EAN: 9781582436449
Hardcover
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"An excellent dystopian mystery that stays with you long after the book has ended."

Fresh Fiction Review

Ashes Of The Earth
Eliot Pattison

Reviewed by Melissa Kammer
Posted July 25, 2011

Mystery Private Eye | Science Fiction

Hadrian Boone lives in a world vastly different from the one in which he grew up, a world that has been changed by a nuclear catastrophe. Sheltered from the worst of the fallout, he and a group of men become founders of a colony they call Carthage. Survival in the beginning was hard, but they managed to live off the land and in time develop simple technologies. They are still far from self-sufficient and still plagued with problems. Unfortunately, their society looks down on things that remind them of the past, so the adults and the children have no common ground. Censorship, child suicides, and even crime run rampant. They exile those who are sick and dying. Will they ever have a thriving community?

Hadrian haunted by the past has long sought solace at the bottom of a bottle. He is quite outspoken in his views, and rather often finds himself in a jail cell. However, when Jonah, a good friend and fellow founder, is found murdered, Hadrian along with a female officer are tasked by the governor with finding the murderer. The hope of Carthage rested mainly on Jonah's inventions, and Hadrian needs to figure out the reason behind his death. He follows a convoluted path through the dark side of Carthage, into the exile camp, and even further beyond their known land. Their path yields some answers but also uncovers more questions. He never imagined the depth of the duplicity and corruption that threatens his colony and the people who inhabit it. Will he be able to convince anyone of the destruction that is coming their way? Will he make sure that Jonah's death is avenged?

Eliot Pattison writes a marvelous thought provoking end of the world novel. He has created a believable dystopian world where society is still separated by class, governing officials look little beyond what they want to accomplish, and criminal organizations still find a foothold to worm their way in. Hadrian cannot forget the past and cannot live as if there was nothing that came before. He understands that there are lessons to be learned, and Jonah's murder is an eye opener that cannot be ignored. His journey leads him into the midst of so much more than he ever imagined. Mr. Pattison weaves an exceptional mystery with so many twists and turns, you begin to wonder if the maze will ever end. ASHES OF THE EARTH is a smart daring read with characters that grab hold of you. I was immediately entranced with the characters, their plight, and their yearning for a better life. This book gives you a lot to think about, and Mr. Pattison has written a winner.

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SUMMARY

Thirty years after global holocaust, the colony of Carthage still struggles to build its new world. While steam engines and other early industrial technology have empowered its economy, the fragile society is undermined by secret crimes, rifts between generations, government censorship, and a legacy of casting out those who suffer from radiation sickness.

Embittered survivor Hadrian Boone—once a revered colony founder—has been hounded by despair and the ghosts of his past into a life of drunkenness and frequent imprisonment for challenging the governor’s tyranny. But when a gentle old man, the colony’s leading scientist, is murdered, Hadrian glimpses chilling secrets behind the killing that could destroy the colony. Realizing that he may be the only one able to expose the truth, Hadrian begins a desperate quest through the underbelly of the colony into the wrenching camps of the outcasts, escorted by a young policewoman who struggles to cope with the physical and emotional remnants of the prior world. Ultimately Hadrian’s journey becomes one of self-discovery, and to find justice his greatest challenge is navigating the tortuous path of the human spirit in a world that has been forever fractured.


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