Sunday, October 28

The Broken Wheel - Kerry Greenwood

When Sarah bursts out of dense shrubbery, petrified, she is taken in by three Travellers, who are making their way through the territories staked out by various tribes along the freeway. Much has changed in the years since the Three Days, when satellites in orbit raked Earth with lasers, and life is perilous for those who stray far from home.
Sarah knows that Gwyn, Alpin and Simon are promiscuous degenerates who use machines and do not follow the Wheel but she has to risk herself for the greater purpose. Yet, as she travels with them and sees them navigate through the territories of women-stealing cannibals, desperate children armed with an automatic tank, and warriors, her preconceptions are challenged.
This is the first of the Three Day trilogy, the third of which, Feral, was reviewed about a month ago. I managed to read them in reverse order, and it is a tribute to Greenwood's style and world building that I didn't realise until I read each one that it was the prequel to what I'd read. That's phrased awkwardly, I know - in essence: I am stupid and Greenwood is great!
Sarah's struggle to examine her beliefs in the light of new information is portrayed beautifully, and the characters generally are layered. I particularly liked the way different groups have responded to the disaster (now a decade or so old) is interesting and strongly reminiscent of (though different from) Tepper's brilliant post-apocalyptic The Gate to Women's Country. This novel stand well as both FSF and YA. - Alex

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