“Radioactive ruins. A radical anti-technology faction know as the Swords of Eden. Sinister scientists performing secret experiments. Shea knows what horrors await in the world outside the sanctuary she built for herself. Her mother is dead; her father is gone; her body is marked with the scars of what the outside world did to her. All she wants now is to be left alone.
So when she learns she’s a Catalyst, someone born to save the world by making seemingly-insignificant changes that ripple into larger effects, her answer is simple: no. This world isn’t worth saving.
Until she’s given her first mission: save the followers of a radiation-worshipping cult in the remnants of Washington, D.C. Until she discovers the secrets that tie the cult’s eccentric prophet to her own past. Until she sees a chance to regain something that was stolen from her long ago: a real family.
But there’s more than radiation worship going on in the ruins, and the prophet’s plans could put all his followers in the crosshairs of Shea’s old enemies… or cause devastation that reaches far beyond the cult. And as she races against time to stop him, Shea will face a threat that terrifies her more than any of that: the risk of starting to care about the world outside her walls.” (Source: Goodreads)
As a reviewer, I’m always wary when it comes to indie books. There are several talented authors in the mix, but then there’s also several bad ones. Zoe Cannon is one of the former. Courtesy of the author, I had the opportunity to read her upcoming novel, Walk Through Fire before publishing. This review is in no way affected by this, and is an accurate and true statement of my opinion.
Dystopian novels are my weakness. I’m a sucker for them and there’s no point in denying that. While some readers understandably get sick of this theme, I’m a glutton for it. The fact that Walk Through Fire takes place after nuclear war is exactly why I devoured this book.
In Walk Through Fire, Cannon introduces a new and unique idea – one that I haven’t seen overplayed countless times. There’s no battle to the death for a throne, no saving the entire world, no swooning over the tall, dark and handsome dude. It’s real in the best of ways. The main character, Shea, is in her teens – a common occurrence for young adult literature. After being tortured for years by doctors that were supposed to help her, she finds peace in the world. Until the Swords come. Cue anti-technology group. With her home in ruins and a mysterious girl telling her where to go, Shea finds herself caught up in a radiation worshipping cult.
As a horror fanatic, I’m no stranger to the concept of cults. Oftentimes they all play out the same and in many ways, this one is little different (hence why I took away one skull). Caught up in the wave of zealotry, Shea finds she is the only one not blind to what is truly happening, but is that enough?
Walk Through Fire has a shaky start, but after the first fifteen percent it becomes obvious that Cannon has found Shea’s voice. From there, the story is deeply engrossing. Shea is a character readers can identify with in several ways. For me, I was fond of her “no bullshit” style of handing things. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!