Deon Meyer takes the reader to South Africa where the majority of the worlds population has been wiped out by a mysterious Fever:
Nico Storm and his father Willem are traveling through South Africa looking for a safe haven. As they pass ravaged town by ravaged town they do not see any hope in sight. Willem has an idea, start their own safe haven in a town that will soon be called Amanzi. They appeal to those who are of good nature and want to better not only themselves but others too. But as with all places that offer safe haven there are those who will prey on them and as towns become bigger and bigger there are always people who will disagree. This is Nico Storm's memoir of survival and the eventual murder of his father.
This was a pretty big change of pace for me, it was not so much action, suspense and darkness but more about a son and father trying to survive in a new world (but less dark and depressing than The Road). There is a mystery here so that really held my attention especially as Meyer mentions it very early in the book, but where Meyer really shines is in his storytelling and character development.
I really loved the multiple points of view as you got more of a perspective for each situations as well as getting to know the back story for many of the people who now lived at Amanzi. This was incorporate through the Amanzi history project which essentially was a recording of the personal experiences of the individual as they came to Amanzi. While the main narrator is Nico Storm (as this is his story to tell) he incorporates the recordings from the history project to both agree and disagree as to what actually happened. Much of the story takes place when Nico is a teenager so this did skew his perspective and as Nico is looking back telling this story it makes sense to add the additional information from mainly adults.
I liked that is was set in South Africa as this a different settling for me and I felt the wildlife and conditions of South Africa just seem more extreme to me than other places in the world. This perspective is probably dues to the fact that I have not had a chance to travel there yet (hopefully one day) but for me the setting was unique.
This book lets you know from the very beginning that Nico's father Willem Storm is going to be murdered and that even we have met the murderer along the way so it was very engaging to try and figure out who it was going to be. You start to weight each conversation that Nico had as well as the information that is shared through the history project. I did not see the twist coming at the end, so Meyer was very nicely able to surprise me which I always appreciate.
This is the first book that I have read by Meyer and I am very interested in checking out his other books. I really enjoyed his storytelling ways and his development of the characters in Amanzi. Highly recommended especially if you like books where society and the human race need to start over again. I honestly wish there was another novel after this one or even a novella to see where some of the main characters are now