Dystopian Suspense YA Young Adult

The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold Review

A compulsively readable post-apocalyptic story with an electric plot that will glue your hands to the book.

It is the year… sometime in the near future. A deadly Flu Fly virus has ravaged the earth and killed most of humanity. Octopus-like swarms of infected Flies continue to sweep the earth, hunting any and all living things. It’s not a pretty place. In fact, life in “The Age of the Fly” is a pretty terrible place for those who’ve become the hunted, and The Electric Kingdom pulls no punches. At this point, The Electric Kingdom could become purely survivalist or a novel dealing with loss, grief, and loneliness, and while all four are represented, the focus here is not on the hostility of a world that has gone dark but on how this darkness can be overcome.

In a nutshell, The Electric Kingdom is a story about a girl (Nico) and her dog (Harry), who (at the insistence of Nico’s dad) leave their secluded (and safe) farmhouse to journey through the woods to a place called Kairos. A place which may or may not exist and probably doesn’t exist since Nico’s dad’s mind has been in a steady state of “un-blossoming.” Still, in eight days, Nico must reach Kairos. Their survival depends on it, or so her dad believes.

Along the way, Nico meets others, like twelve-year-old Kit, who grew up with his Dakota (mom) at the Paradise Twin (a cinema) in a town of four people. Again and again, characters experience a sense of déjà vu, a feeling that they’ve been here before, and there is a sci-fi element nestled within the story. The Electric Kingdom is not one genre, but many, a genre-bender extraordinaire, and unlike anything I’ve read. A novel that, to say it in the words of Kit, is “two things at once: 100 percent heart-hugging; 100 percent heartbreaking” and will stay with you long after the final page.

Book: The Electric Kingdom
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Publication Date: February 9th, 2021
Age Range: 13 – adult
Stars: 4.5/5

Penguin Teen kindly sent me a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.


  1. Loving the sound of this book. I am a sucker for anything where the world is ending or has ended and people are left to fight and survive (:


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