The Exile by Donald Levin
This is book two of the "Dry Earth Series". The first episode, “The Bright and Darkened Lands of Earth”, appeared in the dystopian short story collection “Postcards from the Future”. I was eagerly waiting to see what would happen next with these characters and where the story might go. Dr. Levin did not disappoint.
With this installment, we are taken deeper into the environment, community, and culture of a dystopian Earth. The emotions of the characters are experienced in real-time, offering readers an opportunity to become fully immersed in the impact of what they revere and why. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of any novel that treats books as sacred. This story does that, and more. In this harsh world, the gentle adoration of the written word, even for those who cannot read, is deeply understood.
Levin delicately introduces us to characters who are “different”, though never “less than”, which again supports his reputation for embracing the strength of a story through viewpoints that perhaps we may not have considered, especially in this genre. His heroes are unlikely, which compels us to cheer for them. Woven into this story is Levin’s approach to the responsibility of family – whether by blood or not – and the consequence of protecting that legacy. The impact is stunning.
Donald Levin has already proven himself a Master of the police procedural mystery. With this novel, he can claim that title for the dystopian genre, as well. I look forward to the next book in this series.
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