Friday, June 18, 2010

Epitaph Road

Band on the Bricks this week featured Paper Bird, an indie folk band with three amazing female vocalists, including Esme and Genny Patterson who were in my class at Southern Hills in sixth grade. Their angelic vocal harmonies are supported by instumentalists playing guitar, banjo, upright bass, trumpet and trombone. Playing to their hometown crowd on the Boulder mall, the girls charmed the audience with their powerful voices and upbeat blue grass sounds.

Speaking of strong females, I just finished Epitaph Road by David Patneaude. This post-apocalyptic thriller takes place in 2097 after an airborne virus has wiped out 97% of the male population. Woman now rule the world and have eradicated poverty, crime, and war, but the remaining men, whose numbers are being limited to 5% of the population, are not happy campers. Fourteen-year-old Kellen Dent is one of the rare males, whose neglectful mother is involved with the ruling Population Apportionment Council. The council is busy trying to thwart an uprising of men, including Kellen's father, who live independent of female rule. When Kellen overhears his mother talking about an intentional resurgence of the virus, he begins to worry about his father's safety, and he and his friends Sunday and Tia decide to take it upon themselves to warn him. In the process they discover a secret about the virus which rocks their world.

Each chapter opens with an epitaph for a variety of males who were killed by the plague, poignantly depicting how some women who are left behind mourn their lover's death, others, whose men were abusive, rejoice in it. This is an intriguing exploration of gender relations, which depicts the dangers of extremism. The ending is satisfying, but does leave an opening for a sequel if the author is so inclined.

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