Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Year of the Orphan

Year of the Orphan by Daniel Findlay
Simon & Schuster: 5/7/19
eBook review copy; 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781628729948

Year of the Orphan by Daniel Findlay is a recommended dystopian set in a post-apocalyptic future.

The orphan's family was killed and she was sold into slavery as a child to the Old Man in the corrupt settlement known as the System. She makes a living looking for scrape buried in the sand-blasted landscape of the Australian Outback. As she treks across the land on foot or riding her sand ship, she is constantly pursued by the Reckoner. She needs to escape from him and the ghosts she encounters, as well as other creatures, human or animal.
The story is excellent, after you fight and struggle your way through the broken, invented language. For those willing to invest the time to work their way through the language, the plot provides a great payback, but the language is also the great stumbling block in this post-apocalyptic thriller. The orphan is a great character, and is well developed, but, again, you have to fight your way through the invented dialect to learn this.

Basically, the dialect will hinder the story for many readers, so I can't say this is a well-written book. It is well-conceived and plotted, but the language becomes a stumbling block that most readers will have to make a conscious choice to power through. In the end I was glad I forced myself to keep reading for the narrative, but there were times when I was ready to toss the novel aside because sometimes the language just felt like too much work.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

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