Written By: E.T. Gunnarsson
Published By: Bragi Press
Reviewed By: Melissa Minners
Some time ago, I reviewed a book about a dystopian world that takes place in three stages. In Forgive Us, we meet three different individuals struggling to survive in different eras of an Earth that has been destroyed through pollution and war. We eventually discover that the stories of these individuals overlap and effect each other in varying ways. I, for one, wanted to know more regarding how Earth and its denizens arrived at such a state. My hope came through with a prequel to Forgive Us, entitled Abandon Us.
This time around, the story revolves about one person – Robert Ashton. When we first meet Robert, he is a street thug, stealing from others to support his habit in a world that is already strangling on waste and pollution. After a robbery gone wrong that lands his best friend, William, in prison, Robert turns his life around, going to tech school and meeting and marrying his partner Zilv. Together, they have made a decent living for themselves, even as the world around them begins to seriously crumble. Death, destruction, pollution and poverty are coming together to cause a civil war. When Robert loses his job, he knows that he and Zilv have no choice by to go underground with recently released William.
Things are dangerous underground, but Robert and William’s smuggling operation has kept the trio fed and clothed. But then the Third World War begins, bringing the battle to the underworld and forcing Robert, Zilv and William to survive in the wastelands of the surface. Unable to discern which side is safer and fighting disease, mutated monsters and a serious lack of supplies or shelter, Robert wonders how he and his loved ones will survive. Sometimes it seems as if he is close to abandoning all hope.
I was so absorbed in E.T. Gunnarsson’s incredibly descriptive and captivating story that I read Abandon Us in only a few days’ time, pausing only for the essentials – eat, work, sleep. That being said, it has taken me a while to write this review. That’s because I wasn’t sure I could do the book the justice it deserves. E.T. Gunnarsson cleverly weaves events of today in his apocalyptic tale – COVID 19, the war in Ukraine, the distrust between the United States, Russia and China, global warming, pollution and more – making the story incredibly realistic and relatable. There were times when I had to put the book down for a couple of minutes and catch my breath. That’s how disturbing I found some of its contents.
In the end, Abandon Us is a story of survival and what that survival means for different people. It not only shows how morals and ethics can be compromised in the attempt to survive, but how humans react to apocalyptic situations – the psychology behind survivor’s guilt, the greed, the loss of humanity. Abandon Us leads the reader perfectly into the events of Forgive Us, explaining how the war for survival and territory began after picking up the pieces in the wake of the third World War.
E.T. Gunnarsson is an amazing storyteller who writes a relatable and realistic tale with characters you become invested in, situations you can see yourself in and a descriptiveness that places you right in the middle of the action. I understand that these two books are part of a trilogy. I can’t wait to read the final chapter! I am more than certain it will be worth the wait!
Check Out Abandon Us at Amazon
While You Are There Check Out Forgive Us As Well