Booklist

May 9, 2016

Issue: May 1, 2016

The Mercy Journals.

A “change in the weather” caused the deaths of four billion people and a global collapse of nation-states. Army veteran Allen Levy Quincy, nicknamed “Mercy,” begins keeping a journal in 2047 in an attempt to protect his shredded sanity. His parents and wife have died, he’s lost track of his sons and his brother, and he is haunted by a genocidal horror on the U.S.-Mexico border. Allen has been following a frugal routine in what used to be Seattle, breaking the law against owning pets for the peaceful companionship of goldfish. But then this solitary, one-legged, alcoholic soldier meets Ruby, a self-possessed dancer attempting to corral her own grief, and his brother reappears, a veritable maelstrom of chaos and greed. They end up at their family’s cabin on cougar-stalked Vancouver Island, where conflicts over how to live precipitate a Cain-and-Abel confrontation. Posing profound questions about compassion, values, and our capacity for life-saving change, Canadian author Casper performs a remarkably incisive and sensitive variation on the dystopian theme in this suspenseful and provocative tale of sacrifice and survival.

— Donna Seaman