Publishers Weekly
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The Real Housewives meets Robinson Crusoe in this fun apocalypse tour from bestseller Cast (House of Night). A sassy, somewhat stereotyped, and tight-knit band of teachers become stranded at a rural Oregon resort after bombs drop on the U.S. What kind of bombs and dropped by whom are questions left unanswered, but the resulting electromagnetic pulse knocks out some electronics. What works and what doesn’t feels more determined by narrative convenience than science: the lamps and the water pumps turn on, but the fridge doesn’t work and the cars won’t start. The bombs also release a green mist that “breaks” men, turning them to bloody jelly. Women, however, tend to survive—and some come away with surprising new abilities. Heightened intuition, for one, impels Stella Carver to urge her colleagues out of their refuge and onto the risky open road. Their goal is to “make a world where this kind of shit never happens again”; if snappy dialogue and proclamations of girl power are enough to win the day, they’ll succeed, but that question, too, is unresolved. The plot is loose at best, with enough obvious holes and hints of future developments that it really only makes sense as a first installment. It’s entertaining, but unfinished. Agent: Rebecca Scherer, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (July)

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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

“This new world is going to be different. We’re not going to tolerate misogyny.” When bombs drop on the U.S., bringing fires, earthquakes, and a green mist that liquifies men, what’s a group of ladies to do but make a better world? On their way home from a conference in the Oregon mountains, some teachers are enveloped by the green mist and witness the gruesome deaths of their male colleagues. They set up a sanctuary, where they realize the mist does more than kill men—it gives women powers. This action-packed series starter is all set up, as the women road trip through the apocalypse, visiting small (sometimes dangerous) settlements, exploring their powers, and talking big about fixing the world. Though entertaining and occasionally suspenseful, this politicized story lacks emotion and nuance; especially jarring is when the women turn from mourning the men in their lives to calling the killer mist a “fortuitous byproduct.” Cast also fails trans and nonbinary people with this reductive scenario. Ending with an ominous prophecy will keep readers enjoying this specific kind of wish fulfillment curious for the next volume.