This post-apocalyptic novel follows a 10-year-old boy with extraordinary powers as he fights for survival amidst humanity’s struggle to raise itself from the ashes of its own destruction.
Although Gee—George Elandier Evansen—survived a nuclear apocalypse that destroyed nearly half the planet eight years earlier, he isn’t exactly lucky. His father, a respected professor, disappeared one day, and after his dimwitted mother began living with a man and his abusive son, Gee is essentially living on the streets.
He considers himself a “finder,” wandering the urban wasteland looking for food and valuables to sell. He has a sixth sense that helps him locate treasures—like caches of salt and Spam—but he has recently discovered an ability to teleport, which essentially saves his life when he teleports to the upper floors of an abandoned apartment building just as thugs are closing in on him. There, he finds sanctuary and, eventually, a horde of food, weapons, and medicine. When he saves Maria, a little girl, from a life of physical and sexual abuse, the two begin to construct a life together—and, possibly, a future at world’s end.
The post-apocalyptic backdrop is an initially strong hook, but the narrative’s flaws eventually overwhelm the tale. With no weaknesses aside from his age and size, Gee is hard to believe. Although he’s uneducated, he’s morally upright and law-abiding, beloved by police and government officials, and as courageous as any comic book superhero. Knowing little of relationships, he even gives dating advice to a widower attracted to a mutual friend.
The lack of overall description is another big shortcoming; the author portrays bombed-out buildings and cannibals but very little else.
Lastly, questions abound: Where are the long-term consequences of nuclear fallout, such as nuclear winter or contaminated water? How is fresh produce still available? How did Gee get his powers? Why are there Biblical references?
Gee’s story has potential, but such issues ultimately undermine this ambitious, post-apocalyptic novel.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.