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Friday, October 01, 2021

New YA Post-Apocalyptic Novel Not Super Memorable, But Still Entertaining

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Once upon a time, Paige Miller had big plans for her life.  She was going to rock her last year of high school basketball, accept a full-ride athletic scholarship to UConn, then aim for a career in the WNBA.  That was before everyone got sick, before she herself fell ill.  When she wakes up in her bedroom attached to an IV, Paige realizes she's been in a coma and that everything—not just her world, but the entire world—has changed completely.  Not only has her family been wiped out by the lethal flu, but there are few, if any, other people still alive.  Life is no longer about basketball.  Now it's about survival.

When Paige decides to venture out into the empty world, she's ecstatic to encounter another teenager.  Trey Dawson is also an athlete, also alone.  Although he has more answers than Paige, neither knows exactly what's going on.  As they navigate their way through their strange new reality, they make some shocking discoveries about what's happening and why.  Armed with this knowledge, they have a slim chance to save what's left of humanity.  Can they succeed against a threat that's much, much worse than a deadly virus?

I enjoyed Rae Carson's Gold Seer trilogy, so I was excited when I learned she had a new book coming out.  And a YA post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel at that.  Yes, please!  Although as it turns out, there's nothing super original or memorable about Any Sign of Life (available October 12, 2021), I still enjoyed the read.  It's tense, fast-paced, and exciting.  The characters are likable despite not being very complex or fleshed-out.  I definitely wanted them to be victorious, even if they didn't quite feel like real live people.  While I generally prefer realistic doomsday scenarios, this more sci-fi version still appeals.  I assume Any Sign of Life is the beginning of a series and, while I can't say I'm chomping at the bit for the next installment, I'm always here for an entertaining end-of-the-world novel.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of Alone by Meghan E. Freeman and of the Partials series by Dan Wells)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a half dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Any Sign of Life from the generous folks at Greenwillow Books (a division of HarperCollins) via those at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. This sounds like a neat read, but I am personally not ready to read books about a deadly virus. Maybe at some point, just not right now. (I know there are others who want ALL the books about deadly viruses right now. I find it fascinating to see the different ways we all manage the world around us in our fiction picks.)

  2. I'm curious about this possibly being a series. From what you say, it doesn't seem to have been "announced" as one. Do you get the impression that it will be a series because this one had an open-ended finish without much of a resolution? I've always felt that "first books" that end that way should very clearly announce that they are a series very clearly right up front. Otherwise, I tend to get frustrated with the author and the surprise-series.

  3. You know I like fun end-of-the-world reads, too. But there seem to be a lot out there that start off great, but then fall short in the end. I'm getting a little tired of those.

  4. I feel like I've seen a movie with a similar premise but don't remember the name. One of the zombie ones. This sounds interesting but not sure it's for me. Especially since it didn't really pull you in.

  5. This feels like it might feel a bit close to home these days!


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