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All That’s Left in the World – Erik. J Brown

When the Superflu wipes out most of the population, Jamie finds himself completely alone in a cabin in the woods – until an injured stranger crosses his path.

Life is dangerous now and, armed with a gun, Jamie goes to pull the trigger. But there’s something about Andrew … something that stops Jamie in his tracks. Jamie takes him in, and as Andrew heals and they eventually step out into the strange new world, their relationship starts to feel like more than just friendship …

But trouble isn’t far behind. As the boys make a perilous journey south, they’ll come face to face with a world torn apart and society in ruins. And who, or what, will they find waiting for them at the end of it all?

I am absolutely in awe of this book. The writing, the character development, how it is hilarious yet terrifying and just the story as a whole, it is all incredible! It has very quickly become a favourite read of 2022.

In 2013, I like most people, read dystopian books back to back. It was my favourite genre. They slowly lost popularity but ever since then I have been searching for one that would make me feel the same way they did. All That’s Left in the World made me feel like that and so much more. It has everything that those dystopian books of 2013 lacked and a whole lot more. 

I will preface this review by saying this book does mention COVID. It isn’t an apocalypse story due to COVID but it is mentioned a few times. So, please go into this carefully if the discussion of COVID is something you know may trigger you.

The writing of this book is astounding. I could imagine everything that happened in this book extremely vividly. It played out like a movie and I could visualise it all. This does not happen often for me when reading so I know that when it does happen, the book is special. I could not get enough of this book. I gasped, I felt the fear that Andrew and Jamie did. I laughed at their jokes and even had a few tears whilst reading. Erik J. Brown is certainly an author to watch and his writing will most certainly blow you away.

Andrew and Jamie are outstanding main characters. We have the story narrated to us in alternative chapters from Andrew and Jamie. This made reading this so much fun and really gripped me. I wanted to know what each character was thinking about the events in the book.

Andrew is full of sarcasm and wit. He has been through a lot and uses his humour to cope. The book is obviously quite harrowing at times so the humour throughout is refreshing. I knew I was gripped by Andrew’s character when he mentioned Tom Holland in the first few pages! Jamie is adorable! He seems like a tough guy on the outside but when we get to know him he is so kind, caring and sensitive. There is one particular scene with Jamie, a fawn and its mum that was so beautiful and made me love Jamie even more. Andrew and Jamie’s slow burn romance is perfect too!

There are so many secondary characters we meet throughout this book and each one of them is well rounded. Some are scary and some are incredibly inspiring. I love Andrew and Jamie and the other characters really add to their character development.

Truly I am in awe of this book. I cannot recommend it enough especially if you are looking for a post-apocalyptic book to fill a need you’ve had for years. I actually found it quite healing to reading this after what the world has been going through in the past couple of years. I am beyond excited to see what Erik J. Brown writes next because I will be immediately buying it. His debut novel is outstanding so I cannot wait to see where he goes next.

Overall, I cannot recommend All That’s Left in the World enough. It is fast-paced, thrilling and scary, yet managed to be humorous and fun. If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic, dystopian and adventurous books, then this is the one for you. Erik J. Brown is definitely one to watch!

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