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Withered + Sere

(Immemorial Year #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  881 ratings  ·  175 reviews
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 Northern Idaho
ebook, 280 pages
Published April 19th 2016 by DSP Publications
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Withered + Sere is possibly the most beautiful and profound book that T.J. Klune has even written. However, it is also incredibly heart-wrenching, violent, and bleak, and it might be a challenging story for some readers.

I'm a happy person who likes to live in a happy bubble. I don't watch the news and I avoid stories about sick children, tortured puppies, and loved ones dying of unspeakable illnesses. I am a worrier, and traumatic stories make me stay up all night sweating and crying.

This book
Jan 10, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: mine
Updated 4/18/16:

Second Illustration released, plus an interview with the illustrator, Blake Dorner, and TJ. There's also a give away!

 photo Group Photo_zpsredjnlvy.png

Updated 4/13/16:

Withered + Sere will be published with 10 illustrations done by Blake Dorner.

Here's your first look!

 photo LucasbehindCavalo_zpsprju1lxk.png

Updated 3/30/16:

Pre-orders are up!

DSP Publications:


Barnes & Noble: http://
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
One day. One day someone, and I don't know who, but someone will say enough. A line will be drawn, and there will come an hour that we will rise and say we've had enough. That we won't take the darkness any longer. That we will say no. That we will fight against those who would break us. We will fight back, and in this hour, we will have succeeded in what we have set out to do.

The inherent destructive and power hungry nature of man is what makes this story affecting and gloomy, but there wil
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
My math and logic brain will never do this story justice with a review. The writing and themes were just too poignant and heart breaking, but I will attempt it.

This is a story unlike TJ has written before. It's harsh, gritty, soul-crushing. There is no happiness in this world he's built. But damn if it doesn't pull you in because you want to see just one GOOD think come out of this fucked-up world.

This is a post-apocalyptic story in its simplest description. But it's so much more. The setting br
Jul 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ng, fr, dystopian
After the end of the world, everyone is certifiable.

Batshit crazy doesn't even begin to explain the mental processing of the major characters in this book.
"It has taken losing my mind to find my soul.”

Cavalo's internal dialogues, more than actually dialogue, with multiple parties is extensive. You ride along through extended psychotic breaks that relay backstory and characterize Cavalo as inherently unstable. Then again, no one is really fully functioning.
"We are nothing without the nam
Wow! That was certainly something else!

This is not your typical romance. In fact, this book reads like a nightmare you can't wake up from no matter how hard you try. Where you are trapped in a brutal, harsh, violent world and not succumbing to past and future pain is your only goal - barely surviving, certainly not living, but staying ahead of the ghosts that haunt you.

The world-building for this post-apocalyptic setting is incredible and the writing is different from what I am used to. I often
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wondered how the world will end?

It's a pretty bleak thought isn't it? and it's admittedly one that I try not to contemplate too often because seriously how much depression does one need in any given day? No matter how I look at it this is not a question that would or could ever produce a cheerful ending.

In 'Withered & Sere' TJ Klune does just that. He makes us look at what is left after the world has ended 'in a wave of fire'. It's not pretty or cheerful, but it is scarily r
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I haven’t read a book like this in a long time. Withered + Sere is a look into a bleak, post-apocalyptic world. The environment is doom and gloom and so are the people. And oddly enough, TJ is able to weave a story that contains a lot of depth – the sad, the happy, the funny, the hopeful. It’s not a book that feels forced to be gritty (as I’ve read in other dystopian books). It’s like creating the color black by using a combination of different colors mixed together as opposed to reaching for th ...more
So, I just read that. It was...interesting. After reading Mumuration I shouldn't be surprised at how deep and dark and creepy TJ can be with his writing. I have so many questions!!!!! Thankfully the next book is available so my only barrier to starting book 2 now is my own reading schedule.

This was well written. I don't know what it all means yet, but I will for sure read book 2. If only to satisfy my own curiosity. That was the driving force behind continuing to read this book. I couldn't stop
Jenni Lea

Fricken fabulous!


Gah! Isn't this out yet???????????????????????

*sighs* I know, I know, I just need to be patient. I can do that.

*puts on waiting face*

Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I need to think on this a bit before I can write a review or decide on a star rating. Cliffhangers are a funny thing. Sometimes, they are a wonderful ending to a book that leaves you eager for book two and what it will bring. But sometimes... it just feel like your book got cut in half with a big middle finger on the last page. As the page numbers slowly dwindled I couldn't figure out how things would be wrapped up, but I kept reading and reading and reading because I wanted some closure. I want ...more
Kristen Burns
5 Stars

Full Review:
*I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes used in this review were from an ARC and may be different in the final book.*


How do you even write a review for such an indescribable book???

It was just so different.

A unique, powerful kind of different.

This man, Cavalo, he kind of hears voices in his head that he refers as bees because they buzz at him and crawl under his skin. And sometimes he gets lost to his own demons and

Once in a while you read a book that captures your imagination, maybe you read and think wow this is amazing, maybe you read and you are outraged and angry. Perhaps you cry or even laugh and cry all at once. These are the books you come back to, books you remember years later, These are the books that compel you to write a review, create a special shelf for.

This isn't a review, I'm crap at them. If you read some of my previous attempts you'll know what I mean. Don't worry I'm not looking for aff
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
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.

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 hooke
Still working out my thoughts for a full review, but the rating is decided. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy dystopian darkness with a dash of hope. And for anyone wanting to push their boundaries. Beautifully written.

To be continued......


So I need to sit on this for a minute.....

Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
Bloody hell in not sure where to start or where to go with this review ! I'm still trying to put all of the pieces together. This is one of the most intense dystopian reads with complex characters who give little to nothing away. I want to know more about Cavalo and where Lucas the Dead Rabbit fits. I love Bad Dog and SIRS - bless them for their loyalty ( well when their system is not overridden ! ) bizzare is my best adjective for now ... More to come in this series no doubt !
Ulysses Dietz
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Withered and Sere (Immemorial Year Book 1)
By T.J. Klune
Dreamspinner Press, April 2016

327 pages
Five stars

Can a dog have a soul? Can a robot have a soul? Can a monster have a soul?
TJ Klune’s latest book (the first of a two-parter, set in a post-apocalyptic America) is a startling departure for our young master of the overwrought inner dialogue. It is unquestionably the tightest, most powerfully written book to come from his creative mind. It is horrifying, compelling, violent, pass
In the end, he never learned what it felt like to burn as he wasn’t even aware he had died when the blast hit him. His last thought was I hope I come back here to—and then he was gone. There was nothing left of him but his seven words. And they carried long after the whole of humanity became nothing more than a thing of the past in a future of chaos. God forgive us for what we’ve done.

It is wrong to assume that TJ Klune is only capable of making us laugh. That is very far from the truth. He has
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was so good...and so dark. There were glimpses of light here and there, but author was quick to quench it before you can even start to hope. Honestly, I don't see this story ending in anything but a tragic way for our MC. But nevertheless, it's one of the best books I've read this year, and I can't wait to read a sequel...
Phwoar! This is DARK!

I don't even know how to describe this. It's insane, as in certifiable, lock them up and throw away the key insane!

It was awesome!

Looking forward to diving into book 2.

Jul 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded-shelf
Judging by the summary (end of the world brought on by humans, sole survivor fighting for a new change with a dog companion and a deluded robot) and the good reviews I thought I would like it. But no. Have you ever had the feeling that a book "talks" so much? That so much words not needed end up making noise and you can follow the song? This is what happened to me with this book. I don't know how many pages following a dying doe... lots of pages deciding what to do with someone who wanted to kil ...more
Cari Z.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Anybody ever read The Road? This reminds me of that in a lot of ways, except it's less bleak (this is saying something, given the content of Withered + Sere) and more entertaining (I'm not a terrible person, I'm not! I just love me some dystopia.).

Soooo looking forward to the sequel.
OMG OMG OMG!!!! I have no words for how great this was! Gimme more!!
 ♥ Rebecca ♥
This book is confusing since all the main characters are some degree of crazy. But its really unique and interesting. Can't wait for book 2.
michaela ⚘
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, 2018
4.5 stars!

This book was so much more than i thought it would be...maybe it was because this isn’t the type of book i typically read and its much closer to movies i watch instead. but, whatever it was it worked so well for me. i was confused a couple times but for the most part i loved the way the story flowed, how different it all was and how the characters were wrote. and, i’m really looking forward to reading the second book!!
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stunning and haunting.

Hands down this book is one of the best postapocalyptic novels I've read. The story-telling is breathtaking, the cast of characters consists of a dog(yay), a sentient malfunctioning AI (double yay), two very very dangerous grey-moral individuals (really scary and so interesting to read about).

TJ Klune is so incredibly talented and his books are all different genre and stories. He nailed the Mad-Max-esque world in this one, the atmosphere was exceptionally well-crafted. The
"Insanity is such an insane thing, is it not?"

Wow.... Amazing!
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read the first two volumes back-to-back so my short review's on Crisped + Sere.
Big Dog's the best pup POV I've found in adult fiction though.
5 Stars
A month ago I was not familiar with this author. A GR friend recommended to me another title by T.J. Klune. Reading that one was one of those epiphany moments where you just fall in love with a book/writing style.

So when this one hit my radar a couple of weeks before its release, I couldn't wait for it to become available. "Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!" I've always loved reading dystopian stories, and I had very high expectations for this title. I was not disappointed.

The setting takes place
Tj Klune, has a wicked brilliant sense of humor. He excels at expressing it and writing it. So when Tj, announced his next book would be dark and heavy I admit, I was skeptical. After all, I couldn’t imagine Tj... C’mon Tj?! The man who gave us Bear and Gary, yeah that Tj, pulling off a dark, dystopian novel. He stated he would make us feel suffering, loss, despair and hope. He said we would cry…. Wookie face cry. When I read those words, I was like… nah, not your niche. Again, I didn’t think he ...more
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TJ KLUNE is a Lambda Literary Award-winning author (Into This River I Drown) and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.

Other books in the series

Immemorial Year (2 books)
  • Crisped + Sere (Immemorial Year, #2)

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