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The Savage Boy

(The Wasteland Saga #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  551 ratings  ·  58 reviews
The author of the acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel The Old Man and the Wasteland returns! Amid the remains of a world destroyed by a devastating Global Thermonuclear Armageddon, barbaric tribes rule the New American Dark Age. A boy and his horse must complete the final mission of the last United States soldier, and what unfolds is an epic journey across an America gone sav ...more
ebook, 303 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Harper Voyager
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  551 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
4 Stars

I enjoyed The Savage Boy and feel that it is a good edition to the post-apocalyptic genre. This is the second book that I have read by Nick Cole, The Old Man and the Wasteland was the first. This is an intimate story about a boy, a “bear killer”, and unnamed young man. This is his attempt to make it cross country to find the army.

“Staff Sergeant Presley was gone now.
The Boy crossed the open lot. Horse looked at him, then turned away. And there was something in that dismissal of Horse that
Nov 19, 2020 added it
Shelves: dropped
I open the book and close it after a couple of pages or even lines. The story may be objectively ok but it just leaves me indifferent.
Jordan Hall
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
WARNING: MILD SPOILERS! I read "The Old Man and the Wasteland" a few summers ago and enjoyed it immensely. I am a sucker for all things Post Apocalyptic, both the serious and dramatic interpretations and the more whimsical lighthearted renditions, so, naturally, I devoured it in about two nights of reading. When "The Savage Boy" popped up in one of my BookBub deals of the day emails, I was excited! I had no idea that Cole had written a follow-up to The Old Man and the Wasteland. This one is a bi ...more
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Boy. We meet him just after the passing of his caretaker and only friend, Sergeant Presley. It's been decades since the bombs fell. Decades since Presley was sent on a mission to go into America and find out what was left. It was during these travels he came upon Boy. Boy is young, too young to know what the world was like before. All he knows is what Presley has taught him and now that Presley is gone, it's up to Boy to travel back to I Corps to complete Presley's mission.

Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
The characters and setting win in this novel.
The sparse post-apocalyptic setting is described with sentences written in short sparse prose. I liked the characters used and the way he wrote this, a good flowing on the road to somewhere story.

Also @
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it

I want to believe that the goodness in people would win out, and especially that civilization would not deteriorate so quickly - but seeing what folk will do for a toaster on sale at Christmas makes me suspect that Mr. Cole may be right.

Maybe there will be a glimmer of hope in the final book of the trilogy.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is even better than the first. Nick Cole is on my list of new authors to watch. The first one was "good but no Hugh Howey" but the second is right on with Hugh Howey in terms of greatness. ...more
Mike Nemeth
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick Cole expands on his dystopian vision of the world in "Savage Boy." Much like "The Old Man and the Wasteland" which precedes it, Boy presents a totally disfunctional United States. There is no manufacturing, no government and no society. It's all about survival. He starts off the tale with the boy, who has a withered left side, ministering to the needs of his dying friend Staff Sgt. Presley. Cole doesn't let too much detail slip. This is character-driven as seen through the eyes of the Boy, ...more
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
I really enjoyed this middle book in the The Wasteland Saga: Three Novels: Old Man and the Wasteland, The Savage Boy, The Road is a River. But it made me very sad. The story is bleak - what is left of our country after nuclear war is being destroyed by tribes of savages. The Chinese set up camp in San Francisco after leaving THEIR destroyed country, and the US Army & the Chinese Army duke it out for years. I would hope that after a nuclear war we might learn NOT to wage war, but to try to work t ...more
Dava Stewart
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick Cole is one of my favorite new authors. I have really enjoyed both of his books and am looking forward to another.

This is the story of a young man who lives in a shattered United States. Civilization no longer really exists. Throughout the early part of the book he repeatedly wonders "Who am I?" I'm not sure the question is ever fully answered, but that's probably part of the point.

The only part of the story that I didn't really like was the bit from the lioness's point of view - it seeme
Dan Hart
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book overall, but the second half did not hold the same level of awesome for me as the first. The Boy's love interest felt thrown on me, and I never really attached with her. The Boy alludes to her being strong-minded, but I never saw it. Without this connection, much of the conflict escalation at the end held less emotional turmoil for me than earlier sections.

That said, I very much enjoyed this book. The style worked and Nick used it to focus on the interesting bits, displaying ex
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A really good book. Equal or better than the previous one from this authot (The Old Man and the Wasteland). More than once the ending I was expecting while reading changed into something unexpected. It's short, really entertaining and I like the way he tells the story describing the thing that happen but as well the dilemmas and thoughts of the protagonist.

Bastante bueno. Tanto o más que el anterior de este autor (The Old Man and The Wasteland). Más de una vez me cambió el final qu
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I gave The Old Man and the Wasteland a generous 5 stars. If I could I would Give The Savage Boy a 6, and feel like that wasn't generous enough.

The story was great. The ending was very very good. But once again it's the narration that really captivates me. It's a truly unique style and I absolutely love it. I would go so far as to say Nick Cole is a master of narration, and a master of story telling in a way that no other author has been able to impress me.

This book was excellent and joins my all
Thomas Sabo
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another deeply developed character by Nick Cole. This is a longer and more deeply satisfying novel than "The Old Man and The Wasteland", which was very very good in its own rite. Amazingly Nick Cole seems to be able to project himself well beyond the initial chaos of society falling and into a future where tribal rules and violence shape the lives of those who remain. Brief glimmers of hope keeps "The Boy" going...and the ever present question of "Who am I?". At once crushing and uplifting, this ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Compared to the post-apocalyptic world Cole has created here, "bleak" would look like sunshine and rainbows. Except. Except that in this violent, dark, cold wasteland, mostly populated by horrid excused for human beings, Cole also gives the reader glimmers of hope and some of the warmth of love--family (whether by birth or circumstance and regardless of species), friends, and romantic. The characters are "real" people, fleshed out, some sympathetic and others not so much; there are a number of p ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopian
Just love his writing style and the world he has created. I read The Old Man and the Wasteland last year on a whim. Something about these books draws me in to that world and makes me feel kinship with the characters. The struggles and conflicts throughout the book are well thought out. There were a couple of plot points that I considered weak, but they didn't detract from my overall enjoyment. I hope he keeps writing more of these books. ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. You see "Boy" go from a boy to a man and back to being a boy again as he attempts to complete "the mission". He experiences so much on the journey and beyond that change his views on everything again and again. Another post-apocalyptic novel that's not about the end of the world at all. ...more
Brett Dunst
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
While not technically a sequel to The Old Man and the Wasteland, it's a great parallel story that takes place in the same world. Nick Cole has an incredible writing style. ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read; left me looking forward to Nick Cole's next book. ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful novella. The characterization and setting are superb. Probably my second favorite post-apocalyptic read after Neville Shutes' On the Beach.

Highly recommend.
Ed Grant
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopian
I loved the first 2 books of the saga. Hopefully the 3rd book will be better than the review suggest.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very good story and page turner. Thanks Nick, keep it up. I would like to be able to write like that.
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark look into one future

I enjoyed The Old Man in Cole's first story, however this tale is darker with an ending that will surprise you.
Ed Gosney
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first started reading “The Savage Boy” by Nick Cole, I didn’t think I would like it nearly as much as his previous book, “The Old Man and the Wasteland,” but surprisingly, it was just as good, if not better.

I’ve read a number of post-apocalyptic novels over the years, and I enjoy (if there is such a thing as enjoying a wasteland due to thermonuclear bombing) the setting Cole has given us very much, along with the voice he uses for his characters. While coming across as somewhat detached,
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Second in the Wasteland series by Nick Cole (after Old Man and the Wasteland). This tale follows the Savage Boy as he makes his way across post-apocalyptic US. Really enjoyed the speculation on what the US might look like in that future - genetically altered corn is everywhere, meaning a vast abundance of corn fed game... and predators of that game. Of course cannibals and savages are everywhere as well. No place is really safe. Also liked the military-oriented insights and details, especially t ...more
A.K. Meek
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Savage Boy tells the story of one man's struggle to survive in a fallen world, forty years after a nuclear war left America in ruins.

Through the story, the Boy, a nomadic 'savage,' recalls the wisdom of Sgt. Presley, Boy's mentor who trained him how to survive in a dark world. Presley's ever-present voice guides Boy as he attempts to 'not get involved' in the affairs of others. Going against his mentor's advice, Boy does get involved and pays a price for that involvement.

I will not elaborate
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick Cole has a knack for taking what should be a difficult premise to maintain and pulling off a consistently entertaining read. Once again, Cole selects a nearly silent protagonist who is often on his own and in desperate straits. Through internal dialogue and a few human (and animal) interactions, Cole keeps the story moving along briskly.

The bleak, post-apocalyptic world is very well realized and believable. Cole is relentless in reminding readers how devastating and hopeless this world is a
Greg Tymn
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've rated this novel 4 stars because of it's price and the hangover "halo" effect of loving Old Man and the Wasteland. Otherwise it might have slipped to a 3.

I found Savage Boy to lack some of the hopefulness of OMAW. While the imagery and descriptive text were excellent, the internal dialogue of the boy was stuttering and, to me, overly redundant. More McCarthyesque than Hemingway which I don't think is in it's favor.

As others have said the results on the northern California coast were dissati
Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Not quite sure how I feel about this book. At least 3.5 stars, but don't think four. For whatever reason, I didn't care for this as much as The Old Man and The Wasteland. I think it part because I feel the writing style lends itself more to a short work (like The Old Man) and because this story, albeit longer, just didn't feel to me to have any greater depth - and with the added length should have come added depth. That said - I understand there's another Wasteland story to follow, and I will re ...more
Jason Holmes
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I just finished The Savage Boy and I really enjoyed this story. The widespread barbarism and the feeling of hopelessness that the characters face and then attempt to overcome make this a very interesting read from beginning to finish. Chronicling the travels of a young man for what seems to be a very short time, I felt attached to the protagonist as he struggles with his physical handicap and his desire to just be left alone to enjoy what small amount of joy he can scratch out of his very humble ...more
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Nick Cole is a working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can often be found as a guard for King Phillip the Second of Spain in the Opera Don Carlo at Los Angeles Opera or some similar role. Nick Cole has been writing for most o ...more

Other books in the series

The Wasteland Saga (3 books)
  • The Old Man and the Wasteland (The Wasteland Saga, #1)
  • The Road is a River (The Wasteland Saga, #3)

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