Lotus Blue Is a Worthy Mashup of Mad Max and Blade Runner

In the far future desert world of Lotus Blue, 17-year-old Star must contend with crazed A.I. war machines, killer sand storms, mysterious strangers from hidden cities, and secrets from her own past that lead her on an unexpected journey. Her story is part Mad Max, part Blade Runner, and exactly what you’ve been looking for since you fell for Imperator Furiosa.

Star doesn’t remember life before her seventh year, but it doesn’t matter all that much in this post-apocalyptic landscape. She does know she’s always had her sister, Nene, by her side. The two of them live as part of a Van, a nomadic community of caravaners thirteen wagons long. Always moving, they’ve made a sort of home for themselves, and Nene has always looked out for Star.

The Van is only safe while traveling the Sand Road, and even then, only if everyone sticks together and keeps moving. Relics of the past—war machines with artificial intelligence—are roving the desert, half-mad and completely deadly. Sentinels placed throughout the desert provide the living with shelter from the wildly erratic sandstorms. And Templars, ancient warriors akin to the androids of Terminator or Blade Runner, sit in silence as the world moves on around them.

When a relic Angel satellite crashes to the ground and a Sentinel fails to protect the caravan from its wrath, Star feels that her life is about to change—especially when she uncovers secrets about her past—secrets Nene has been keeping from her, secrets that threaten their relationship just as the relics that fall from the sky begin to disrupt the tenuous laws of a society of survivors that’s barely holding on in the harsh environment as it is.

This all plays out in a fashion both richly atmospheric and incredibly engaging. Cat Sparks shows us this ravaged world from multiple points of view—through the cold eyes of artificially intelligent beings as well as those of people from all strata of life—preserving the life in the tropes of the post-apocalyptic desert landscape. As the secrets surrounding Star’s origin begin to unravel, it becomes more than just an action novel; there are mysteries to unpack and full-blooded characters who will keep you turning pages.

I love how the threads woven throughout each disparate point-of-view come together to make a tapestry of emotion and intrigue as Star travels from one strange landscape into another, seeking answers, and her destiny. After glimpsing the multitude of possible stories this world contains, I certainly hope we have a chance to travel these roads again in the future.

Lotus Blue is available now.

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