Breaking Free

Fiction - Dystopia
354 Pages
Reviewed on 01/25/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Cheryl Taylor was raised in northeastern Michigan and pursued a degree in agriculture communications from Michigan State University. In 1986, Taylor moved to Arizona where she worked in publishing and advertising in the livestock industry, then eventually moving into teaching in 1998 after receiving a masters in education from Northern Arizona University.

Gone to Ground is Taylor's first book and explores how an apocalyptic event might look in the Arizona ranch land. Breaking Free a sequel to Gone to Ground was published in September 2023, and continues the challenges of surviving in a post pandemic world.

In addition, Taylor is working on several cozy mystery series, including the Up North Michigan series, which takes place on a trout farm in the northeastern part of the state where she was raised, and the Rock Shop mystery series, which takes place in northern Arizona. In addition she has produced a daily journal and planner featuring loon photography from the area where she grew up, and is working on several photography books, as well as a book on Navajo style locker hooking.

In addition to her publishing endeavors, Taylor also creates wire tree sculptures, sun catchers and pine needle baskets under the business name, Ugly Rock Beautification Project, and loves to create locker hooked projects.

Taylor currently resides in northern Arizona with her family of horses, dogs and cats.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Breaking Free is a work of fiction in the dystopia, interpersonal drama, and suspense subgenres, and is the sequel to Gone to Ground. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Cheryl F Taylor, the plot follows former journalist Maggie Langton and ex-Enforcer Jim O'Reilly as they navigate life in Hideaway Camp after the pandemic. The tranquil setting becomes a haven for them and the children seeking refuge. However, the calm is shattered when Maggie encounters ‘ghosts’: people living off stolen resources, avoiding Authorized Population Zones.

Author Cheryl F Taylor has crafted a vivid dystopian novel painting a bleak portrait of humanity’s future, filled to the brim with tension and emotion. Taylor’s elegant prose delicately balances the gritty realism of post-pandemic survival with the intricate and harrowing personal struggles of her characters. The plot is a web of suspense and ethical dilemmas, and I found it well-paced to deliver some excellent surprises that amped up the tension throughout. I loved the danger and intrigue in the conceptualization of the ‘ghosts,’ and the narrative skill centering on O'Reilly's internal conflict had a palpable sense of urgency that involved me deeply in his story arc. Taylor's vivid portrayal of the Arizona wilderness is just as atmospheric in its description as her characters, which perfectly complements the emotional tone of each scene by filling in all those multi-sensory background details that make you feel like you’re there with them. Overall, Breaking Free is a superb post-apocalyptic thriller with a compelling narrative exploring human choices, morality, and the lengths one goes to protect loved ones. A highly recommended read indeed.