Pray To The Dead, the second book in Alyce Elmore’s Angels Have Tread Trilogy, follows the lives of several individuals and the new world they encounter 20 years after the desolation exterminated all males over the age of 20. Catherine is pleased to be the rising star of the New Order Party and looks forward to a new society with no use for males. Sofia, a council moderator in the Warragul colony, believes the government, or someone in the government, is responsible for the murders of the boys she is investigating. Finally, Patricia, a political journalist, discovers that the government is concealing some research from the public and is perplexed about what it all means. Is there a diabolical scheme being carried out by the government against males?
The gripping book features an impressive and well-developed world. The glossary of terms at the beginning of the book contains several words that reflect the changes in the new world. For example, the latter years of a young man’s life are referred to as cusp, and male sex workers are referred to as studs. Furthermore, viewing the physical features via the perspective characters’ thoughts makes envisioning the scenes a delight. The book contains profound insights, such as when Patricia characterizes an interior design as nice enough but lacking in personality. Another excellent quality of the novel is how unpredictable it is; the twists and turns have you eagerly anticipating the next chapter.
Pray To The Dead is a thought-provoking and riveting novel that will have sci-fi and fantasy readers unable to put the book down. I applaud author Alyce Elmore for writing such a brilliant story that inspired me to envisage a world where males play minimal societal roles through a riveting chain of events. Readers who appreciate dystopian and political novels with multiple intricate turns will enjoy this book.
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The importance of this and these stories, Yes there is more, can be lost if you take a simplistic approach, and that’s the last thing this writer wants you to do. You need to read “When All Hope is LOST” Book 1 to appreciate what’s going on. With that said Alyce writes in such a way that you don’t feel left behind if you happen to start in the middle. Just treat Book 1 like a prequel. With that said! any series and in this case Trilogy deserves to be read in the correct sequence. The events that lead to the situation is highly developed and thought provoking. It would be easy to take umbrage and say “Where are the men? Of course it’s all our fault!” or “Where are the men! how wonderful, it’s all their fault!”. But it’s not that easy! Oh NO, no one is off the hook in this world especially the reader. We are given the opportunity to imagine, NO! experience a world of great change and a world that has come from great suffering. This is finessed story telling that twists and turns exploring the problems rooted in power when the status quo can be flipped yet still have deep seated negative consequences. Control is ugly and complex no matter who has it, just as fighting the establishment and those unwilling to give up their proclivities no matter how evil. Alyce Elmore wants Us to think! Reading these books is like a Test for our deep seated emotions and entrenched beliefs. Let the characters and situations take you into a world that is as fascinating, mysterious, exciting and foreboding as any of the greats of dystopian science fiction. With that said, Ursula K LeGuin would relish this!
Looking forward to what the future brings! or am I?
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