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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Seeds of Hope by Debbie Tremel is a dystopian eco-fiction novel that follows a group of Visionaries who return to the embrace of the wilderness after humanity has destroyed it. Looting and arson and violence are being perpetrated in the cities by a newly anarchist “civilization” and even the military. There is no order, there is no food, there is nothing human about what's left. “Humanity had recklessly borrowed from the Earth, never giving thought that the loan could be called in. And now the payment was due.” The book begins with the protagonist Daniel, who is forced to bury the group he's traveling with after a cataclysmic landslide spurred by an earthquake wipes all out but him. He must travel hundreds of miles to get to the Earth lodge and the rest of his family. Reuniting is just the beginning, as the group must establish their own new world order, preserving the best of what they know and doing all they can to ensure both their survival and the survival of what's left of the planet.
Seeds of Hope is a unique book that approaches a post-apocalyptic world with a collaboration of people who are not bent on pushing forward to restore what was, but one that stops in order to simply preserve what is left. This is, first and foremost, a poignant piece of eco-fiction, thwarting the survivalist skills of preppers and instead promoting the spiritual connection to Earth as people who are a part of it—not in control of it. This does not mean that Daniel and the rest of the group are passive to those who attempt to overtake them. On the contrary, they are willing to defend themselves to whatever extent necessary (and it certainly becomes necessary) as they work to rebuild a world that honors the planet, and the basic values humans have lost over time. I loved this book for its story and for its message, and I found it to be equally sad and inspiring, and altogether timely and relevant. Highly recommended.