The Line Between: A Novel

The Line Between: A Novel

by Tosca Lee

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Overview

In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, The Line Between is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476798639
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Series: The Line Between , #1
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 177
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of The ProgenyFirstbornIscariotThe Legend of ShebaDemon: A MemoirHavah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. She received her BA in English and International Relations from Smith College. A lifelong adventure traveler, Tosca makes her home in the Midwest with her husband and children.

Read an Excerpt

The Line Between

IOWA, SEPTEMBER

Conventional wisdom dictates that there’s an insurmountable divide—an entire dimension of eternity and space—between Heaven and Hell. Lucifer managed to make the trip in nine days, at least according to Paradise Lost. That equates to a distance of about 25,920 miles, assuming standard rules of velocity.

But I can tell you it’s closer to a foot and a half. The distance of a step.

Give or take an inch.

Magnus stands near the gatehouse, shirtsleeves rolled up, collar unbuttoned beneath his brown vest. He nods to the Guardian in the booth and the industrial gate begins its mechanical slide. There’s a small door to the side of it just large enough to admit a single person, but I won’t be leaving by the Narrow Gate. My departure must be a spectacle, a warning to those assembled behind me.

I can feel their eyes against my back like hot iron. The glares mottled by anger and fear. Sadness, maybe, but above all gratitude that they are not me.

Two Guardians stand at my sides ready to forcibly walk me out in case I balk or my twenty-two-year-old legs give out beneath me. I glance at the one to my right and swear he looks impatient. Hungry, maybe; it’s just before lunchtime. I’m crossing into eternal damnation, and all he’s thinking about is an egg salad sandwich—and not even a good one. It’s Wednesday, Sabbath by the solar calendar. Rosella is managing the kitchen, and that pious sandwich is full of chickpeas without a single real egg in it.

The gate comes to a stop with an ominous clang. The road be-yond is paved with gravel, a gray part in a sea of native grass strewn with gold and purple flowers in stark contrast to the carefully and beautifully manicured grounds behind me. A meadowlark sings somewhere nearby as a combine rumbles in the distance.

I grip the plastic bag of my sparse belongings: a change of underwear, my baby book stripped of its photos, a stone the color of sea glass. Sweat drips down the inside of my blouse as I stare out at that feral scape. At that barren drive through untouched prairie that leads to the road half a mile away.

A car idles at the corner, waiting for me.

Don’t look. Don’t glance back. That’s Pride talking, a voice so faint this last decade I wasn’t aware it was still in there. Still, I turn. Not because I need a parting glance at the compound I called home for the last fifteen years or even Jaclyn, my sister. But because I need to see her.

My niece, Truly.

I scan the nearly five hundred Select assembled across the broad drive until I find her small form near the front, her hand in Jaclyn’s, curls wafting around her head in the breeze.

I’d planned to mouth the words I love you. To tug my right earlobe in our secret sign so she’ll remember me long after she’s told she can never speak my name again. To fight back tears at the sight of hers, to combat her confusion with love.

Instead, my heart stops.

She’s glaring at me, her face pink, growing redder by the instant. I open my mouth—to say what, I don’t know—but before I can, she tears her hand from my sister’s and runs away, disappearing into the assembly.

“Truly!” I gasp, and stagger a step after her. The Guardians grab my arms.

“No. Wait—Truly!” I twist against them, plastic bag swinging against my thigh. I can’t leave her like this. Not like this. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

None of it was.

I shift my gaze to my sister, where she stands beside the six Elders. Her cheeks are hollow, features chiseled far beyond her twenty-seven years.

“What did you say to her?” I shout as I’m jerked back around and hauled toward Magnus, who stands before the open gate, this side of that invisible line.

“Wynter Roth,” Magnus says, loudly enough for those behind us to hear. Which means he’s basically shouting right at me. Gone, the brown-and-gray scruff that was on his chin yesterday. I can smell his aftershave from here.

“Please,” I whisper in the space between us, trying to snag his gaze. But he stares past me as though I were a stranger.

“Because of your deliberate, prolonged disobedience . . .” His words carry to those behind me even as the breeze whisks mine away.

“Just let me say good-bye!”

“. . . including the sins of idolatry, thievery, and the willful desire to harm the eternal future of those most vulnerable among us . . . because you will not hear the pleas of the brethren and refuse repentance, you are hereby delivered to Satan for the destruction of your flesh.”

I hear the words as though from a distance. I’ve seen and heard them spoken before—I just never thought they’d be aimed at me. So this is it. There will be no good-byes. And I realize I hate him.

Magnus lifts up his hands. “And so we renounce your fellowship and cast you out of our holy number even as we pray for the restoration of your salvation, which you forfeit this day. Now, as it is bound on Earth, so let it be bound in Heaven.” He lowers his arms as the assembly echoes his words and says, more quietly as he meets my eyes at last, “You have broken our hearts, Wynter.”

He moves away before I can respond and the Guardians walk me to the line as I glance back one last time.

But Truly is gone.

I face the gravel drive before me.

One step. That’s all it takes to span the distance of eternity.

Welcome to Hell.

Customer Reviews

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The Line Between: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous 24 hours ago
I+had+to+quit+reading+this+halfway+through....it%27s+shallow+drivel.++Before+I+quit%2C+I+became+suspicious+that+the+author+would+identify+as+a+%22Christian%22+writer%3B+a+Google+search+proved+that+to+be+true.++Sadly%2C+%22Christian%22+novelists+are+typically+poor+writers.++Their+writing+lacks+depth+and+their+paradigm+and+life+experience+is+limited.++They+include+too+much+Christianse+and+phrases+that+are+stilted+and+relatively+unknown+to+the+unchurched.++This+attempt+seemed+to+stradle+somewhere+between+crazy+cult+and+ultra-ortodox.++I%27m+an+educated+theoligian...and+I+would+have+preferred+a+secular+attempt+at+what+might+have+been+a+decent+plotline...I%27m+very+sorry+I+paid+for+this+book.%0A
yzermandy 9 days ago
To be honest, I'm not even sure how to begin this review, except to say... WOW! WOW! WOW!!! I enjoy reading a variety of genres, however, this genre is not my typical choice. Truthfully, I'm not sure what prompted me to choose this book but I am more than glad that I did. I'm really not the type of person that gives a lot of the plot away when writing reviews so you'll mainly get my 'two cents' about the writing. The author, Tosca Lee, is brand new to me and I am now a fan. The characters in the story are extremely compelling and I could tell that a lot of research had to have been done to combine the aspects of an apocalyptic disease wiping out humanity AND having the main character just being forced out of a cult. What an interesting and engaging perspective for the story. The story begins with a pig farmer and what happens on his farm after one of his pigs has piglets. At first I questioned why that was in the story and quickly I was able to start piecing together why it was so important. After this quick introduction the story is told from Wynter Roth's perspective (her past...her time at New Earth (a doomsday cult) and her present ...after she has been kicked out of the cult). The story is fast paced and definitely a page turner. I started the story in the morning and found myself enjoying listening to it so much that I bought the Nook version so I could read along with the story as it was being read to me!! I had to pause and reread a few times just to be sure that what I heard was really happening (it kind of makes me want to become a vegetarian)!! The story has me still thinking about it (I finished it 13 hours ago too) because I can see the events in the story happening in real life. I love Wynter, she is a truly complex character and a protagonist that people will relate to. Tosca Lee is an extremely gifted writer. The story is spellbinding, engaging, fast-paced, compelling, and leaves you in deep thought while wanting more of the story. Excellent book!! I highly recommend it!
ReadersFavorite 14 days ago
Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite The Line Between by Tosca Lee is a one-of-a-kind thriller that takes an end-of-the-world story, unlike any I’ve ever read, and couples it with the incredible story of a young girl who is cast out of a cult. The girl is named Wynter and hers is a fast-paced psychodrama that kept me turning the pages to see what happened next. Inside the walls of the cult, Wynter was safe but under great oppression from their leader/prophet, Magnus. When she finally finds herself outside, free from the cult, she realizes the world outside is a dangerous and unforgiving place, and she struggles to know what’s right and wrong. A deadly virus has begun to spread across the globe that causes people to go crazy and do horrible things. Who can she trust? Where is truth? Inside the cult, or outside in a world of violence, sickness, and disease? Tosca Lee’s writing style is clear, concise, and carries the reader along like a thoroughbred horse. The Line Between bounces back and forth between the present-day story of Wynter surviving outside the cult to a flashback story of her days in the cult, leading up to her expulsion. The dualistic approach of the narrative worked great for me. Both stories were equally compelling. The characters were dynamic and well written. The plot was never predictable and takes enough unexpected turns that I found it difficult to put this book down. I’m a big fan of End-of-the-world books and have read a ton of them. After reading The Line Between I can honestly say it’s one of the best of the genre. Great read.
moony3424 8 months ago
Wynter was forced to leave a doomsday cult that she lived in most of life into a world she didn’t know anything about. On top of that, a pandemic is starting that leave the sick mad before killing them off. This is an exciting book that hooked me from the first page. The type you are eager to finish, but don’t want to end. It combined the present with flashbacks to explain why Wynter is the way she is. This is definitely my favorite book that I’ve read this year. The only criticism I could make is that the end seemed a little rushed and some things were not explained. There is a second book that will be coming out in September, so maybe some of these things will be explained.
NancyMehl-Author 9 months ago
A Stunning Thriller THE LINE BETWEEN is one of Tosca Lee’s best efforts. Anyone familiar with her novels knows how poetic her writing can be. I discovered this several years ago when reading DEMON, which is still one of my all time favorite books. The first chapter of THE LINE BETWEEN showcases this God-given ability. It combines beauty and power in a way that grabs the reader by the throat and holds them captive until the very last word. As children, Wynter Roth and her sister are taken to a private community their mother believes is akin to heaven on earth. But as Wynter gets older, she begins to see that there are dark and dangerous flaws in this so-called paradise. When she finally escapes, she discovers that the world outside of New Earth is facing extinction due to a plague that destroys the minds of those infected. Were the warnings issued by cult leader, Magnus Theisen, true? Was the only safe place on the planet inside the walls of New Earth? When Wynter’s sister brings her something stolen from Magnus that could actually save the lives of millions of people, Wynter begins an almost impossible journey. There is one person she can trust who might be able to produce a vaccine that could stop the disease from spreading. But her way is fraught with danger. The world has gone crazy and more than once it looks as though she’ll never reach her destination. Tosca Lee has written a novel that will truly keep you on the edge of your seat. I found myself yelling out loud more than once. And the research going into this story makes the premise even more frightening. Could this really happen? You will be thinking about this book long after you finish the last chapter. I highly recommend THE LINE BETWEEN. Certainly the best novel I’ve read this year.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Another thriller that you can't put down once you start to read it! Keep on enriching our lives with your stories. God Bless. Laura
MelissaF 11 months ago
Yes. I'm not sure what else to say. This book is AH-mazing. So good. I need to read more books like this. I have read a couple of other of Tosca's book but I am pretty sure this is my favorite. It was a combination of "Walking Dead" and "Birdbox" yet even more real than those movies/shows. Like what happened in this book is something that REALLY could happen. I devoured this book and couldn't wait to get back to it. If you like something different I highly recommend this book! A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
Peter Donnelly 12 months ago
The Line Between is a beautifully written page-turner that is clever, duplicitous and shrouded in menace from beginning to end. A new author for me and totally blown away with Tosca Lee’s ability to weave a powerful plot, a wide mix of intriguing characters, a cataclysmic setting and personal conflict of right and wrong, into an immersive and thrilling story. From the first page, the narrative is off and running with the dramatic and life-changing event of 22-year-old Wynter Roth, being cast out from the “Enclave – New Earth”, where she has lived, separated from the world, for the last 15 years. “Conventional wisdom dictates that there’s an insurmountable divide—an entire dimension of eternity and space—between Heaven and Hell. But I can tell you it’s closer to a foot and a half. The distance of a step. Or a leap of faith.” The big consideration the reader will ponder and reassess throughout the book, is which environment Wynter feels was Heaven and which side Hell. The characterisation of Wynter is wonderfully developed and the turmoil she faces trying to reconcile the teaching she grew up with and their leader Magnus whom she believed to be God’s “Interpreter” on Earth and the real world she now struggles to adapt to, with its evil influences. With Wynter cast out from the Enclave, the story is told along 2 threads, one from that moment on, and the other from when Wynter arrived at the compound 15 years earlier with her mother, Sylvia, and sister, Jaclyn. The New Earth group and their leader Magnus is extremely well crafted to illustrate the typical dimensions and pressures of a cult and a self-proclaimed ambassador of God. The cult traits of isolation, secrecy, intolerance, manipulation, loss of self-sufficiency and supremacy of the leader, are brilliantly described. Of course, these leaders typically operate with a “Do as I say! Not as I do!” attitude and this is the case with Magnus, who will make up laws and rules to ensure he gets what he wants. He also came from a science background and has an ongoing involvement in acquiring new seed strains and believes the world will be destroyed and they will be the sanctuary for the believers. In the present day thread, world news reports normal people suddenly experiencing a sudden and rapid onset of dementia, often accompanied by violence. The growing pandemic is identified as an ancient pion released through pork and attaching itself to an influenza strain. Before long the impact of the pandemic has seen attacks resulting in the shutting down of utilities such as electricity, vigilantes controlling their own areas and wide-scale looting. Jaclyn arrives secretly one night after Wynter has left the compound to give her several containers that contain material that could be used to develop a vaccine for this pandemic disease. They have been taken from Magnus! Wynter must now get these containers to someone who can develop the vaccine but there are forces seeking to prevent her, including law enforcement who believe she stole the material. Knowing who to trust is always a difficult decision but in the middle of a pandemic that gets much more challenging, yet she needs help. I had no expectation of the storyline or any knowledge of Tosca Lee before I lifted this book but when I set it back down I was hooked – I have a new storyteller to follow. I would like to thank Tosca Lee for providing me with a copy of her book in return for an honest review.
sspea More than 1 year ago
I read this book in less than 24 hours. It grabbed me right away. There is something reminiscent to Margaret Atwood in this book. Our protagonist Wynter, is a young woman banished from the cult-compound she has lived in since she was a child. Faced with the struggle of amalgamating back into society, as well as dealing with the heartbreak of leaving her family behind, Wynter finds herself in the middle of a major epidemic. People are getting sick all around her. Tosca Lee's compelling story telling and likable characters makes this book a home run for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
¿Tosca Lee has compared thrillers to roller coasters. The last actual one I rode jarred at every corner and turn and left me aching. I’ve read some thrillers that left me feeling the same. The plot twists were clumsy and contrived. Her novel THE LINE BETWEEN is a coaster ride but every twist and turn is as smooth and thrilling as bacon grease on lightning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! Normally , I read a chapter or two before bed, but this one kept me up for hours at a time and I devoured it in two days. Highly recommend and cannot wait for the sequel.
Debb Hackett More than 1 year ago
This was my first Tosca Lee novel. Wow. I am going to be processing for a while. I was amazed at the complexity of the plot and the depth of the research. The storyline was compelling and the pages flew by. Wynter was a complicated character and Chase had great hidden depth. Very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC, but this is my honest review! I have really come to enjoy Tosca Lee’s novels, and this one is definitely another excellent one! She writes stories that make you want to go research her topics; they draw you in and you want to know more about not just the characters but also about the ideas presented in the books. Maybe it’s history, as it was for me in Progeny, or maybe it’s disease as it is in The Line Between. It’s fast-paced and a little twisted and the characters in The Line Between are complex and real, and you are rooting for truth and justice to win! I couldn’t put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A page turner all the way! I love every book that Tosca writes and this one is no different. Loved the characters and the storyline! Don’t miss out!
dcl55 More than 1 year ago
The Line Between by author Tosca Lee is another not to be missed book! The subject matter grabbed my heart and I cried as I read The Line Between. I will add the reason for my extreme personal reaction at the end of this review. Wynter Roth is a teenager who is excommunicated from a group of religious survivalists called the New Earth. The group is lead by a very charismatic leader, Magnus. Wynter's sister is married to Magnus and now Jaclyn and her child are left inside this enclave of fanatics who believe the outside world is pure evil and environmental catastrophes are a punishment from God. Of course, when a viral outbreak of dementia sweeps across the prairie states chaos runs rampant. Was the preaching of Magnus true and the evil of the world is bringing about judgment from God? Or is this an unavoidable outbreak such as history across the world has seen over the centuries? Wonderful storytelling at it's best! I could not help but cheer for Wynter!
micamoney More than 1 year ago
I have loved Tosca Lee from the first time I picked up Havah when I was in the 10th grade. An excellent and well-versed writer, Tosca kept me engaged from page one, and I've read all of her books since. It's so obvious through her words that she truly loves what she does, and she pours her heart and soul into every paragraph. While her books are all wonderful, I can honestly say The Line Between is one of my absolute favorites. I started the book at perhaps 7:00PM, and I did not put it down once until I finished it at around 3:00AM; it's been a LONG time since I've come across a book that'll keep me engaged and awake to finish in one sitting. What I love most about the book is the main character, Wynter. She isn't a "perfect" heroine. Wynter has her personal tribulations which she has to overcome, and the book is a picture of her endurance and commitment to the task at hand. I read a lot of novels; usually, I'm able to figure out what's going to happen before they occur, but I COULDN'T do it with The Line Between. I thought I'd find some clue, then Tosca would prove I'd gone in the complete wrong direction. Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed the medical aspects of the book. I've never read anything like it, and it was evident Tosca didn't just make any of it up. She did her research, as she wanted no loose ends. I loved this book. I loved it so much, I've been telling all my friends and family members they need to purchase it, which is something I do so infrequently. Dive into this one, and you won't regret it. Hope you've packed your cold weather gear and some hot chocolate, because you're going to need it. A key to saving the world is in a breakfast food so many of us love so much. What could be better than that?
Shellmarie69 More than 1 year ago
The Line Between kept me engaged from the moment I began reading until long after I finished. I actually want more. What happens next?? I followed Wynter almost as if I was her. It was easy to put myself in her shoes. I loved that (because I've lived in or visited many of the places Wynter visits) I was easily able to envision where she was and what was taking place. Tosca Lee has created a very current, very plausible book. The events taking place are events that one could actually envision happening. Sad but true.
MBWilson More than 1 year ago
Tosca Lee is one of the (very) few authors that can pull me in from the very beginning of a book and keep me engaged to the point that I NEED to keep reading until I'm finished. The Line Between is no exception. Set just at the beginning of a massive cataclysm, The Line Between has the markers of an engaging post-apocalyptic thriller, with the refreshing characteristic that it shows the beginnings of the disaster. It is scientifically believable, with a disease similar to ones we have seen in the real world, and spreading by a mutation that makes it much more dangerous than the original disease alone. All of this is going on while we also follow the painful journey of a young girl recently expelled from the cult in which she grew up, trying to make sense of the new world around her. This is my favorite novel from Tosca since her Biblical fiction, although I have enjoyed reading every single one of her books. If you have not picked up a book by Tosca Lee yet, this would be a great place to start! I can't wait for her next adventure! Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance reader copy that I was able to receive and voluntarily review. And many thanks to Tosca Lee for writing such amazing novels and allowing me to be part of her launch team for this book!
GodsDanceralway More than 1 year ago
Read my full review at https://godsdanceralwayz.blogspot.com... I recently read The Line Between (Howard Books), by Tosca Lee. And let me tell you, the story began with THE BEST first paragraph I've ever read. Talk about sucking me in! Wynter Roth is kicked out of an apocalyptic cult and just as she's starting to find a new normal the world falls into mass chaos. Could her cult leader be right? Did she just leave her only safety and salvation to enter a world coming to it's end? An old disease melts through the permafrost (a bit scary as I just experienced the polar vortex and the reality of this happening someday becomes more real every year) and is quickly spread through the flu. At first everyone is baffled as to the new widespread onset of early dementia but cities quickly start shutting down and the power grid is hit with an attack. Meanwhile an answer and possible vaccine falls into Wynter's lap. She has to overcome her naivety and figure out how to get to the right people all the while navigating a foreign world. This novel is fast paced with just the right amount of twists and turns. And you guys, the plot is partially taken out of the news! I sent multiple texts before the book came out telling my friends/family put it at the top of their TBR lists. HIGHLY recommend. The best part(s): 1. There will be a sequel. 2. It's already in development for television! READ MORE HERE The Line Between was released January 29, 2019. Save the bacon, save the world. A copy of this book was provided to me for review by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Tosca for selecting me as part of your street team!
ColoradoGirl71 More than 1 year ago
This fast-paced tale takes us into the heart of a doomsday cult and through the all-too-possible reality of a flu epidemic. As a young girl, Wynter Roth is forced to quickly adopt the rules in the cult as the family flees an abusive situation. It was fascinating to see how people make a new reality in the cult and mostly forget about elements of their previous lives. Things begin to take a sinister turn and Wynter is thrown out of the cult and exiled from the only family she knows. She struggles outside the gates of the community, grappling with what she was taught in the cult and the new realities. It does seem like the world is coming to an end with all the news stories she sees and the epidemic that seems to be taking over the country. Wynter is given a chance to help determine the cause of the epidemic, but it's a battle against renegades and the all-powerful cult still exerting influence over her life. Along the way, she meets a military man who helps her. This was a quick, engaging read with some interesting plot twists. Makes me want to get a double flu shot this year!
PalmaMama More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars. The Line Between is my first novel by Tosca Lee. The cover drew me in and the plot kept me reading! Wynter, her mother and older sister joined New Earth after running from her abusive father. It seemed like Magnus was their savior and life would be both better and yet, simpler, behind the gates. As time progresses, Wynter realizes that the simpler life is not always best. After being cast out, she enters the world as its being ravaged by a new disease with unknown origins and no known cure. Wynter ventures out into the unknown and strange world after realizing what’s come into her possession may save it. I liked the story but it was challenging keeping up with the storylines while flitting back and forth between the timelines chapter after chapter. I also wish that the chapters had past and present on them so I could orientate myself before starting one. Either that or written in chronological order. Also, what’s with the ending!! I had no idea this was going to end on a cliffhanger. Is the world saved or did it really end?! I guess I’ll be reading the next book to find out. I recived this arc for my honest review
MJLaupp More than 1 year ago
Tosca Lee once again crafts a story that keeps you breathlessly turning pages until the very end. And then it leaves you wanting more. We meet Wynter Roth in the middle of her story - she's being forcibly removed from The Enclave, the home of the cult known as New Earth. She leaves with one goal in mind - to return and rescue her sister Jaclyn and Jaclyn's daughter Truly. There's just one problem - Jaclyn is married to the leader of New Earth, a man named Magnus. And he's the one kicking Wynter out into the world that he has taught his followers to fear. Thankfully, she's barely past the boundary of New Earth when she is met by an old family friend, Julie, who is determined to help Wynter get her bearings. Julie and her husband Ken let Wynter move into the apartment over their garage and they make arrangements for her to see a therapist when she becomes overwhelmed by all the sudden change in her life. The outside world is a strange place to Wynter. She's never used a smart phone, watched television, or "surfed" the internet. And the world she's entered is facing a serious problem that is only just becoming apparent. Numerous people are struggling with what seems to be an early-onset form of dementia and the doctors are baffled as to the cause. Especially because it seems to be contagious. To make matters worse, the power is going out and the gas stations are running out of fuel. Outside forces using the health scare to their advantage perhaps? Beautifully weaving flashbacks together with Wynter's current experiences, Lee takes the reader on an emotional ride through the events that led to Wynter's expulsion from the Enclave and places her squarely at the center of a national health crisis. She reconnects with a former cult member that had supposedly died and even gets a chance to see her sister (outside of the Enclave) who entrusts her with the monumental task of transporting precious cargo that could hold the answer to curing the epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Along the way, she meets Chase, a former Marine who makes it his personal mission to help Wynter make her very important trip (once he forces the truth out of her, that is). And that former cult member? She introduces Wynter and Chase to Noah who has gone to great lengths to provide a safe, secure hideaway for just the type of crisis currently taking place. Underlying all of this is Wynter's own personal struggle to figure out just what or who is worth believing in. As a child, Wynter's faith in Magnus and his teaching was firm and unwavering. In her adult years, she learns things about Magnus that cause her to question everything she once believed. So is she really sorry to be leaving when Magnus casts her out? And just exactly how does Jaclyn, the wife of The Prophet, come into possession of items that could prove invaluable to the CDC in treating and stopping what is shaping up to be a pandemic? (less)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome read! This book draws you in can makes you really think. This book seems so real for today's world. I could not put it down. It is a non-stop thriller, I can't wait for the next book!
RandyTramp More than 1 year ago
Alternating between two-time lines, this book took the reader on a wild ride or should I say two rides? I was drawn in from the start and clued to the pages until the end. An extinct disease reemerges and causes madness in its victims. For Wynter Roth it's the end she'd been told was coming. This thriller could have been in the headlines: Apocalypse and End-of-the-World Wynter Roth, who is turned out of New Earth, a doomsday cult in the Midwest, struggles to start over in a world where the power grid has failed, and a nation in chaos. The main character, Wynter, was interesting. I felt the chaos, the pain, and the hope. Chase Miller, a former military man, helps Wynter take medical samples to a lab in Colorado. He's the perfect companion. The mark of a great book is how it affects you when you're finished. I'll long remember this one, especially when the news speaks of possible grid outages or outbreaks of disease. Get this book, then fasten your reading seatbelts.
FictionAficionado More than 1 year ago
This is one of those stories that, once you’ve begun reading, you find difficult to put down for very long. I found myself coming back to it again and again to “just read a little bit more” and before long, I didn’t bother putting it down at all. The reader is introduced to Wynter Roth as she is about to be “delivered to Satan for the destruction of her flesh.” In other words, she’s being exiled from the cult community she’s lived in since she was six years old. Tosca Lee may as well have provided a lone drummer beating the solemn “POM. POM. POM.” that accompanies the condemned on their walk to the scaffold, so emotionally weighted was the scene. Without knowing anything about this community or why Wynter was being excommunicated, I was hooked. From there, the story alternated between going back in time to fill in key parts of Wynter’s history, eventually unveiling why she was cast out of the New Earth community, and moving the story forward in the present as Wynter tries to adjust to life outside New Earth, where a new, virulent, and deadly strain of the flu is pushing people to madness. The insight into Wynter’s time in the cult was both chilling and intriguing. I shuddered at the subtle way truth was twisted to keep these people enslaved to their way of life, and the more I knew of cult leader Magnus, the more my skin crawled. But I loved the anticipation that built as the scales fell off Wynter’s eyes even as she became more tightly ensnared in Magnus’s plans. As the book progressed, the focus narrowed until it was squarely on Wynter’s efforts to get the samples to Colorado and then her determination to rescue her young niece, Truly, from the New Earth community. The momentum never let up, and it was quite a ride to the finish, but I couldn’t help feeling that some of the biggest challenges Wynter faced resolved a little too quickly and easily, particularly right at the end. That said, there’s a follow-up due to release later this year, so perhaps things aren’t as resolved as they seem? I’m looking forward to finding out! I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.