Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Title: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2)
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
Source: Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.
Review by Nara

I was actually very surprised at the start of this year, back when In a Handful of Dust was first announced, because I had thought that Not a Drop to Drink was a standalone novel. I have to admit though, I'm pretty happy about McGinnis' decision to expand this series, because this was one excellent book.

While In a Handful of Dust is technically a companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink, and hence could be read without reading Not a Drop to Drink, I would recommend reading the first book before diving into this one. It does offer up a lot of background information about the type of environment the characters have grown up in, and how their lives have improved somewhat. It would also give you a much better understanding of Lynn, as a character.

In a Handful of Dust is certainly one scarily realistic book. One thing I really admire about this series, is that McGinnis really doesn't hold back on the gruesome details of survival in a harsh post-apocalyptic world. Not that I love gore or anything, but this series really highlights how difficult it would be in a land without water: trusting no-one and defending your possessions with everything you have. The horrifying details that McGinnis doesn't spare us are the ones that make the book the most realistic and the most confronting.

If you're looking for a great post-apocalyptic novel, look no further than In a Handful of Dust. With excellent character development and incredibly riveting realism, it's a book that definitely won't disappoint.

Really liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5

This post is a part of Sci-Fi Month, hosted by Rinn Reads and Oh, the Books