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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
E.T. Gunnarsson’s Abandon Us is a post-apocalyptic survival thriller. The daunting tasks of survival in a world affected by pollution, robots replacing people in jobs, and disease are daily problems people face in the year of 2070. Robert struggles to live with his boyfriend, Zilv. Civil war is threatening, and Robert’s best friend, William, is free from prison. He convinces the couple to go underground as the military, militia, and the anarchist T-Pem organization face off and a pandemic spreads across the surface. It isn’t long before the military enters the underground and begins killing everyone. They take cover in a building’s basement until Zilv falls ill. They attempt to get medicine for Zilv, only to find a massive chemical war has begun. On one trip to get food, the results of the chemicals prove that people have more to fear than war.
E.T. Gunnarsson creates the possibility of life ruled by a tyrannical government that does not care about long-term pollution effects. Food rationing, trash building up, and dead bodies littering the streets are terrifying to imagine. Robert’s perception dominates the story, and I would feel hopeless if I were in his place. If a nuclear war occurs, many of the descriptions of what the world could turn into feel accurate. This is a fast-paced story with a vivid depiction of how far people will go when desperation for survival overcomes humanity. People turn on each other without remorse, and trust is a thin line even when they team up. The end of the book was unexpected and leaves an opening for a sequel. Reflecting on the issues in the story, I feel I may need to invest in a well-stocked bunker. Readers who enjoy thrillers set in the future filled with civil unrest and its results will enjoy Abandon Us.