A waterborne disease has sprung up in every corner of the globe, decimating the human race. Seventeen-year-old Eli McShane and his friends flee the chaos and violence in Phoenix and journey north toward the rumored location of a safe water source. They add several to their number, including a mysterious girl named Hannah, who, unknown to Eli, is being hunted by a dangerous man. Desperation brings out the worst in many of the travelers, infecting even those closest to Eli. When division comes, will he be able to hold his group together or will each fall victim to their own thirst for survival?
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I loved reading this story of how it all began, before the Safe Lands trilogy takes place. I enjoyed learning what shapes Zach and Eli’s characters and how they acquire the skills they will need for the future. This book has plenty of page-turning tension. It also has, for a dystopian novel, a very believable and satisfactory ending. Recommended reading for those who enjoyed the Safe Lands trilogy, as well as new readers. Looking forward to the next installment in Eli’s story!