Withered + Sere by TJ Klune

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

o-withered-sere (1)Withered + Sere by TJ Klune
Series: Immemorial Year
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Pages: 280 • Format: eARC
Published By: DSP Publications
Purchase Links:
DSP • Amazon • ARe

Once upon a time, humanity could no longer contain the rage that swelled within, and the world ended in a wave of fire.

One hundred years later, in the wasteland formerly known as America, a broken man who goes only by the name of Cavalo survives. Purposefully cutting himself off from what remains of civilization, Cavalo resides in the crumbling ruins of the North Idaho Correctional Institution. A mutt called Bad Dog and a robot on the verge of insanity comprise his only companions. Cavalo himself is deteriorating, his memories rising like ghosts and haunting the prison cells.

It’s not until he makes the dangerous choice of crossing into the irradiated Deadlands that Cavalo comes into contact with a mute psychopath, one who belongs to the murderous group of people known as the Dead Rabbits. Taking the man prisoner, Cavalo is forced not only to face the horrors of his past, but the ramifications of the choices made for his stark present. And it is in the prisoner that he will find a possible future where redemption is but a glimmer that darkly shines.

The world has died.

This is the story of its remains.


So here’s the thing, everyone knows I’m a TJ Klune fan. I love his work. How To Be A Normal Person has bumped itself up to my favorite book by him. I don’t even know how that happened. Otter is still one of my favorite people in the world. He exists and I won’t stop searching until I found him. When I saw the blurb and cover for this I was immediately hooked. The cover is so beautiful. I couldn’t quite guess what the title meant. I had to think could T.J. pull off a dark novel? I mean he’s known for taking us apart with his emotional reads, and he’s down right hilarious with the sputtering characters. I didn’t know if he could right my kind of Dark. TO me Dark is the end of despair and humanity. It’s when there’s nothing else to live for, and all you got is yourself and maybe a select person that you care enough about for them not to die. I enjoyed the premise of the story, and Bad Dog and S.I.R.S are good characters. I loved them. I loved the opposite of every Dystopian story I read about the Dead Rabbits.

TJ’s world that he build was destroyed almost hundreds of years ago. I loved the opening sequence on how the world ended. As usual he’s very spot on with his words. He’s able to bring you into the scene like you are there. Years later and the world is a gray land with little to no sun. Everyone is trying to survive. We have our Hero Cavalo. He’s the main focus in the book. Him along with Bad Dog (a dog which only he communicates with) are traipsing through the world at their own pace. So many things happened in the story that I enjoyed and other things that I felt didn’t fit into the world. I will say reading about Cavalo and trying to gauge his lunacy or the past and present was a headache.It made me feel like I was on a tidal wave and couldn’t get off. I never really adapted to him. I understand all his shortcomings and why he was the way he is, but he didn’t work for me. It should be warned that this is not a romance story. I knew it going in and I’m okay with it. I can see how it’s set up for book two. There is definitely a cliffhanger at the end. I liked this book, and it wasn’t what I was expecting but hopefully book two leads into the gory stuff for me.

About TJ Klune

When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.

He lives with a neurotic cat in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. It’s hot there, but he doesn’t mind. He dreams about one day standing at Stonehenge, just so he can say he did.