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
Publication Date: February 9th, 2021
Age Range: 13 – adult
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.