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Reviewed by Keyla Damaer for Readers' Favorite
Weir Lovejoy is a Ranger in a post-apocalyptic Earth. Solar flares have disrupted technology as we know it, sending humanity back to a pre-industrial era. It’s like a second Middle Ages with the religious caste trying to take over power at a moment where it should be supporting the government. The Vucari, an old enemy defeated years before, are returning from the Asian Steppes. But what is their purpose? According to Vladimir the Resurrected, the Vucari’s leader, they come in peace, but Weir doesn’t trust him and tries to warn the Senate. While the religious caste and politicians try to get a deal signed by Vladimir, Weir and the other Rangers are ready to confront him, suspecting Vladimir is setting up a trap.
The first thing that struck me about The Book of Ruin by W. G. Hladky was the presence of a great deal of Easter eggs. There’s even one about Klingons, so the author must be a Star Trek fan. I enjoyed reading this story about a second Dark Age, where not everything is dark. Despite it being a post-apocalyptic story, I can’t classify it as a dystopian one. And you can tell how much research the author must have done before writing this novel, from geography to history and including war tactics. There are some disturbing scenes of graphic violence but without going into many details, which makes the reading of those parts easily digestible. All the characters are well fleshed out and the prose flows smoothly.