I have been a fan of Christy Tillery French’s books for many years now and with each book she brings something new to the table. In the past it’s been suspense, thrillers, mysteries, and even romantic comedy. I’ve enjoyed them all but with her newest, Obsolete, she tops them all. Obsolete, a futuristic, dystopian nail-biter, is a cross between Stephen King’s The Stand and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. It is Ms. French’s best yet and one I’m sure I’ll read over and over again (I’ve already read it three times!), just as I have the aforementioned novels.
After a Blue Pox pandemic nearly wipes out the human race, including 18-year-old Madison’s family, she goes looking for other people. She soon finds a horse walking down the middle of the interstate, names him Boomer, and takes him along as she continues her search. In time, she finds Katherine, a former anthropologist. The two team up and eventually arrive at a small college campus in East Tennessee where a group of women are living.
Katherine becomes the leader of the group and Callie, a former prison guard is made head of security. Callie hates men and before long convinces Katherine that the community would be better off with only women. They decide to imprison any men, or “others” as they call them, and use them for slave labor. The younger men will not only be forced to work, they will also be used in their procreation plan; mating young women of childbearing age with the men in order to increase the population of the community.
Madison doesn’t agree with their plans but can’t bring herself to question the woman who saved her life. She loves Katherine and considers her family, and she doesn’t want to go against her, but she’s reluctant to accept Katherine’s and Callie’s plans for the all-women community they’ve named Androk. And she especially doesn’t want to be a part of their procreation plan, until Sarah, heavily pregnant, and Seth arrive.
Seth, of course, is taken into custody while Sarah is taken to the infirmary to await the imminent birth of her child. When the baby, a boy, is born, Katherine and Callie threaten to take him away. Maddie and a nurse convince Katherine that the baby needs to stay with Sarah since her breast milk give him the nutrients he needs to fight off the blue pox. Maddie and Sarah both know it’s only a temporary retrieve and Sarah asks Maddie to help her and Seth escape.
Maddie agrees and she tells Katherine she’ll be a part of the procreation plan as long as she can pick the man she’s to mate with. She chooses Seth. Katherine agrees and Maddie and Seth spend their time together plotting an escape plan for him, Sarah, and the baby. The escape is successful and thanks to the help of some other women in the commune, Maddie’s part in the plan isn’t discovered.
Soon after, Jonah enters the camp and is taken into custody. Maddie sees him and is immediately drawn to him so when Katherine insists that she once again participate in the procreation plan, Maddie agrees with the same condition as before.
This time she chooses Jonah…and the rest, you might say, is yet to be written history. Well, actually, Ms. French has already written it but I don’t want to include any spoilers in this review so I’ll leave it to you to find out for yourself what happens.
Ms. French has an adept hand at writing characters the reader will become emotionally attached to. They are believable, likable, except of course, when they’re not—another thing she excels at is creepy villains!—and with her realistic dialogue, the reader often feels as if they could join right in the conversation happening on the page. Ms. French deftly interweaves several sub-plots which keep the reader turning the pages, and as always, her secondary characters, especially Micah in this book, are the absolute best and relatable enough that you feel as if they’re personal friends by the end of the book. Villain, heroine, hero, Ms. French creates characters who never fail to draw some sort of response from her readers.
The real story in Obsolete is, of course, the survival of the human race, with Maddie and Jonah’s romance playing out in the background. Will the human race survive and will men and women be able to exist in peace or will they turn on each other, therefore, almost guaranteeing the extinction of the species? Can Maddie and Jonah get past what he sees as her betrayal? Will they realize before it’s too late that there’s another of Katherine’s security women who wants them dead?
In Obsolete, CT French (aka Christy Tillery French) gives us a thrilling—or should I say chilling?—glimpse into a dystopian future where women—some of them, anyway—are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore! This is one for my keeper shelf—er, my keeper file on my Kindle, it’s not available in print yet but I hope it soon will be!—and it comes highly recommended. If you liked The Hunger Games or The Stand, give Obsolete a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed!