Author: Erin Bowman
Review by: Dani Hoots
Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In a wasteland plagued by dust squalls, geomagnetic storms, and solar flares, many would kill for it—even if no one can read it. So when raiders sent by a man known as the General attack her village, Delta suspects he is searching for her.
Delta sets out to rescue her family but quickly learns that in the Wastes no one can be trusted—perhaps not even her childhood friend, Asher, who has been missing for nearly a decade. If Delta can trust Asher, she just might decode the map and trade evidence of the Verdant to the General for her family. What Delta doesn’t count on is what waits at the Verdant: a long-forgotten secret that will shake the foundation of her entire world.
My two favorite genres are dark academia and sci-fi western/dystopian, so I knew the moment I picked this up, I would be very happy! And I was! Delta was a great character who simply wanted to survive—and wanted her pack to survive. Although I felt some of her choices were selfish, with the setting, atmosphere, and world, it made sense and was not out of character.
From the gecko, we are thrown into a harsh, desert world where water is running out, supplies are dwindling, and it takes everything just to survive. At first the world felt a bit confusing and I was trying to map it in my mind (BTW it comes with a map!) but later in the book, everything was revealed and I did not see it coming! There are a lot of twists and turns in this book and I was surprised for each and every one of them!
I really liked Asher as well. He has gone through a lot but was still a sweetheart. All the characters were interesting, had a driving force, and made sense. I cannot wait to read more by Erin Bowman! If you love dystopian books, I recommend checking this one out!