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The Dead Lands

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  3,359 ratings  ·  619 reviews
In Benjamin Percy's new thriller, a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga, a super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary-the remains of St. Louis-a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders.

Then a rider comes from
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 4th 2015)
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Pam Audio available from Blackstone Audio; read by Holter Graham. I just bought a copy on Overdrive (downloadable) for my library.
Mike I know this is a very old question but I just finished the book and ithe question showed up in my email and I know the answer. St Louis was the capita…moreI know this is a very old question but I just finished the book and ithe question showed up in my email and I know the answer. St Louis was the capital of MO until it moved to Jefferson City in 1821. (less)

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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  3,359 ratings  ·  619 reviews

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Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
okay, so this book is fantastic. i mean, to me. it hit all my personal zing-buttons: sharp characters and a george r.r. martin-esque willingness to pare them down, well-described post-apocalyptic world, surprising twists, bleak atmosphere, and a chewy, cinematic quality to the writing that pans around and takes in everything. when it comes to horror, i can't appreciate that lovecraftian tradition that makes the reader work to "see" the horror. i'll work for any other kind of book, but with horro ...more
Althea Ann
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This month's post-apocalyptic book club selection.

At our meeting, this book elicited a pretty universal reaction of, "Well, it was OK." And I would have to agree.

This is a pulp fiction story with literary pretensions. Honestly, I think it would've been better without the pretensions. Much has been made of the concept that it's a 'retelling of the story of Lewis and Clark' but in a post-apocalyptic landscape. But that's just a gimmick. The plot neither follows closely nor comments on American his
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Benjamin Percy’s novel is sort of a reimagining of the Lewis and Clark expedition, but across a 22nd century, post-apocalyptic landscape filled with strange mutated creatures and a devastated environment.

I had a lot of fun with this book, apparently there are scientific inaccuracies in the book that some other reviewers have pointed out, but since I was reading the book to be entertained and not to be taught about evolution and science. If you enjoy picking apart the problems of science in a bo
Patrice Hoffman

Sorry... it takes me so long to finish books now days but I had to see this one through to the end. There's something about Benjamin Percy's writing that draws readers in. He's descriptive and paints the portrait vividly of a dystopian world that's been ruined by a flu-like disease. I was hoping The Dead Lands was a sequel to Red Moon which I enjoyed (for the most part). So SPOILER ALERT: It isn't! Insert sad face here.

The Dead Lands is the story of a group of people
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave_up_on
There is noting in this book that would recommend it. Its structure is bad, the writing is poor, and we've seen it all prior and seen it better.
Scott Sigler
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can see why this book produces such mixed reviews, but, as a writer, I loved it. Percy has a talent for description, for painting pictures of people, settings and creatures that dance through my thoughts. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Holter Graham, and Graham's performance may have played a factor in how much I enjoyed Percy's lyrical writing style.

There are monsters galore in this a Lewis & Clark expedition across a shattered. There's even a Sacagawea (in this book, simply "Gawea
It’s All About the Spiders and the Bats, No Science

One of the most important science popularizers of our time, the late Stephen Jay Gould, began his scientific career by reviving the study of allometry – quite literally, the mathematics of body size and shape – while finishing his Ph. D. dissertation in invertebrate paleontology at Columbia University, and then as a young assistant professor of geology and assistant curator of invertebrate paleontology at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparati

“The Dead Lands” is a post-apocalyptic novel in the sub-sub genre of science-fantasy (with a touch of steampunk as well), which prompted some readers to complain that the science of the novel made little sense. And I empathize with them – but only up to a certain degree. Because I felt that the science of the post-apocalyptic world was actually not inaccurate (excluding the mutant creatures, of course), and the weakness actually existed with the ungainly fantasy elements, which overshadowed the
Read 4/6/15 - 4/9/15
3 Stars - Recommended to fans of post apocalyptic fiction that feels more like an epic fantasy
Pages: 400
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Released: April 2015

Let's get one thing straight right from the get-go. When I rated this book, I was really torn between three and four stars. A big part of me wanted to rate it four stars because I read the hell out of this thing in a matter of a few days. I didn't want to put it down and it's not very often that a book really pulls me i
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
It’s been awhile since I’ve read something that I’ve enjoyed one moment, became frustrated and annoyed with the next, returned to enjoying, and alternated back and forth until the closing pages. What it comes down to is that I found I could stomach and enjoy The Dead Lands when I shut off my brain and simply let the thrill of a the post-apocalyptic adventure carry me. If I tried to analyze it as anything more, from themes to the language of the text, I felt like abandoning it.

Percy’s novel has t
Larry H
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

I'll admit I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, but I have come a long way from being convinced I had the plague when I caught a bad cold while reading Stephen King's The Stand many years ago. If I hadn't, I certainly wouldn't be able to read many of the post-apocalyptic, dystopian novels out there that chronicle the world after major pandemics without convincing myself I had whatever illnesse
Liz Barnsley
I really enjoyed this one - it seems to have been a bit hit and miss with advanced reviewers but for me it was a big hit for several reasons.

Firstly I was fascinated by the set up and the world building. Set in two locations if you like, firstly The Sanctuary which is anything but and secondly in The Dead Lands - the world outside The Sanctuary. The world has been decimated both by an epidemic and by nuclear explosions - in the world of The Sanctuary safety comes at a high cost, outside the wall
Jan 22, 2015 added it
Shelves: abandoned
I got to p 119 but am stopping here. A hundred years after an pandemic wipes out most of humanity, an isolated community struggles to survive in a harsh landscape, surrounded by dangerous creatures. A mysterious girl with superhuman powers arrives alone to the community and leads a band of people doesn't matter. I've read this all before in The Passage.

If you read The Passage and found it too long, perhaps Dead Lands is for you. Otherwise, stick to The Passage for well-developed charact
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
An exhausting feat of endurance and bravery. That's just me getting to page 308. I just didn't care about any of the characters, and I think the third-person omniscient viewpoint and present tense writing managed to distance me from them. And the almost complete lack of humour - even when the world has gone to shit, you'd expect the kind of people that survive to have a sense of humour. Or one of them, at least. Plus a lot of little niggly details about the world didn't seem to add up.
Lee Thompson
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Love his writing and would have been a five star book, but like RED MOON, he rushes his endings too much for me.
Jody McGrath
Oct 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
DNF @ 100 pages. It was just weird and the writing wasn't a style I enjoyed. I was very confused.
Ryan  Smith
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Eh. Just not quite for me. A seemingly decent post-apocalyptic story ruined (as far as what I was hoping for) but a pretty bland and formulaic touch of fantasy as a means, in my opinion, to try and set it apart from other post-apoc books floating around these days. I'm sure this hybridization of genres works for a lot of people but it felt a bit lazy and forced to me, same in regards to the 'historic' flourish that just felt awkward (the naming convention that was used, etc.) and unnecessary. DN ...more
Richard  Thomas
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in a long time. The Stand meets Swan Song meets The Road. Full review at Cemetery Dance soon.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Dead Lands is a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the adventures of Lewis and Clark. This book is nothing like the adventure I imaged for Lewis and Clark. This tale includes dark leadership, America 150 years after a super-flu, living mutants, fierce love, indifference, theft, loyalty, friendship, thirst, affluence, and an adventure across a rugged terrain.

Meriwether Lewis and Wilhelmina “Mina” Clark have been friends since childhood. She was always the stronger of the two, but there is someth
Ben Brown
In the vast sea that is the modern post-apocalyptic genre, Benjamin Percy’s “The Dead Lands” is a rarity: a novel that manages to traipse in practically every cliché known to the genre, yet somehow – against all odds – never manages to stumble upon one single original idea of its own.

I’m not kidding – every single hallmark of the post-apocalyptic genre that you can imagine is here and accounted for:

A catastrophe that brings the world to an abrupt end? Check.
Huge walled-in cities, bustling with
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I would like to thank Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

I originally heard about this book in my Stephen King Book Group. It was up as one of the books to read and I thought it sounded really interesting.

I actually enjoyed this book a lot. The world is all but wiped out by a virus/nuclear bombs. It's like a cluster of things going on. Then we have all of the mutations from the radiation that shows up in people and animals. Of course, the animals were
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a solid B until the end and I realized he wasn't finishing it but writing a sequel. Although this is a page turner and the action part is great there is little character development. In a story so intimate with life and death hanging by a thread a few more paragraphs to let us know who the characters were would be nice. I will read the sequel though just to see what happens next.
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
An average fantasy-ish post apocalyptic tale that never quite clicked for me, and I gave up around page 275.

Miriam Michalak
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very much enjoyed this rre-telling of the Lewis and Clark exploration in a post apocalyptic landscape. Well paced, great character development and lots of journeying through a devastated land.
Rob Baker
Another triple-apocalyptic whammy: deadly plague, nuclear war, nuclear plant meltdowns (seems a single whammy won't hack it in this genre anymore). Survivors huddle in what remains of a now walled-in St. Louis controlled by a despot. Question: Is the evil ruler more concerned about keeping the bad guys out or the populace locked in and controlled in for his own nefarious purposes?

Most elements in this book echo those found in other dystopian novels. One mildly interesting novelty is the thinly
Allen Adams
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it

Post-apocalyptic fiction is everywhere you look, with slowly-rebuilding societies and crumbled civilizations as far as the eye can see. And when subject matter becomes this popular, there’s a real difficulty in trying to bring something new to the table. Many authors struggle to find true inspiration amidst the oversaturation.

Author Benjamin Percy has found a way.

He shines a different light on the end of the world in his latest novel “The Dead Lands”, usin
Kathleen Minde
I loved Percy's last book, Red Moon, and knew what to expect with his penchant for supernaturalish, dystopic, futuristic, alternate reality. This book did not truly disappoint me, just made me wish it were as good as Red Moon.

In the dystopic future, after an international pandemic and consequent nuclear war, the city of St. Louis has created a walled fortress against the contagious. Years later, when the trickle of humans attempting to enter the city, now called Sanctuary, has completely died of
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time taken to read - on and off for 4 days

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Pages - 416

Blurb from Goodreads

In Benjamin Percy's new thriller, a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga, a super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary-the remains of St. Louis-a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders.

Then a rider comes from the wasteland beyond its
Well I've never used this one before, but all in all I have to say that "The Dead Lands" rates a solid..... meh. It's really just a pastiche of other post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories. Allow me to list the few that came to mind as I read this novel:

Summer of the Apocalypse(group traveling across a PA world in which modern technology collapsed during the apocalypse and ruined the world - see nuclear reactors and oil fields)
The Stand(world ending plague)
Divergent(post-apocalyptic city, peopl
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While the post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction has surged in popularity in recent times, it is hard to put a unique spin on this sub-genre. But, Percy brings a lively, detailed and cinematic style to his take on his re-visioned world. The book opens with immediate action, firmly reeling in a reader's interest. Details quickly emerge, setting a grim scene. Characters all quickly come to life and it is an intriguing read. In Percy's version of the catalyst of world collapse, it is a super-flu that d ...more
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Benjamin Percy is the author of four novels, The Dark Net (HMH, 2017), The Dead Lands (Grand Central, 2015), Red Moon (Grand Central, 2013) and The Wilding (Graywolf Press, 2010), as well as two books of short stories -- Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk -- and a craft book, Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Esquire (where he is a contributing e ...more

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