Dystopian, apocalyptic novel… that alone is enough for at least a cursory read of The Wolf and the Rain. There were moments of brief questioning but never really regret. Here is a book that straddles two worlds, that delves into disparate cultures, characters and people, but still leaves us haunted by tantalizing mysteries.

It’s a Wall-E, garbage-encrusted world in the North, infused with barbarity and inhumanity in a throwback warlord culture of pure violence — murder, rape, and torture. Then, the South is the antithesis, embodying a Brave New World society built on strict discipline and unquestioning obedience. It’s as simple as two inevitable ways that the people survived after the fall of civilization, the Decline.

Set against the overwhelming stench of the North is the constant sop of rain and mud, chilling. Yet, it’s still the story of a girl named Sam, her cat, and the haphazard misadventures that always lead her toward some semblance of home…

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