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Epitaph Road

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,648 Ratings  ·  267 Reviews
2097 is a transformed world. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population, devastating every world system from governments to sports teams, and causing both universal and unimaginable grief. In the face of such massive despair, women were forced to take over control of the planet--and in doing so they eliminated all of Earth's most ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by EgmontUSA (first published January 1st 2010)
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Marsha It's perfect for an 11 year old. They don't have very high expectations, do they?
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Yeah, so I'm going to spoil the hell out of this book; but for good reason, and you should read the spoilers even if you haven't read the book because it might save you a few hours.

This was supposed to be my counterpoint to The Handmaid's Tale for a big project on gender in dystopian science fiction. Unfortunately it is only today, four days after turning in said project, that I found via a review of this book the one I should have read instead: The Gate To Women's Country by Sherri S. Tepper. (
Jen • Just One More Page

Ngggghhhh. This book had such good promise. SUCH good promise.

97% of men are dead? The women rule now? Men no longer allowed in charge because "they had their chance"? Oh god this could have gone so well.

I should've been tipped off the moment I saw the author was male. This society is not equal. It's just like it is now, just flip-flopped around - which, while that obviously has its issues in the real world, in a fictional story it is DAMNED satisfying to read if done properly. But, regardless
Michele Torrey
Aug 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've often wondered it myself . . . What would happen to our planet if women were in charge? Would hunger end? Wars cease? Would harmony prevail? In his book, EPITAPH ROAD, Northwest author David Patneaude seeks to answer these questions. The year is 2097. Ninety-seven percent of the human male population were wiped out thirty years previously due to an airborne virus. Women are now in charge . . . Patneaude deftly weaves a gritty tale, unpredictable and mesmerizing. The future setting is well-d ...more
Nov 04, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
huge waste of time. sad really had such an interesting premise...but went nowhere really, most of the characters were borderline stupid and the development was a drag duh i'm even to too elaborate...i have so much work to do and instead been wasting time with this shit
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Epitaph Road just came out March 23, 2010. I read this was a good book to read while waiting for Mockingjay to come out in August. They were right. This book is amazing! It has the futuristic dystopia that Hunger Games has, but with a very different spin.

Basically Kellen is a boy born after what is called Elisha's Bear. Elisha's Bear is an event that happened on August 8, 2067 where most of the world's populations of males were killed. Now there are about 13 girls for every one boy. Life has cha
2 and a half star for Epitaph Road, we really need a half star here oh dear goodreads. I picked this book among the featured tables in the library. The premise of the synopsis made me think about the possibilities that could happen, but before I start scaring myself deeper in my own thoughts..I quickly made my way out of the library with that book in my hand. Patneaude painted a dystopian world of tomorrow (in the future like 2097..a very looong time from now, phew) where the population of man i ...more
That’s a huge blurb for such a short book. Surprisingly the book isn’t overwritten. If anything it’s underwritten and left some things to be desired.

I’m really torn on the whole premise because I don’t know if I was automatically looking for some kind of hidden meaning that wasn’t there or looking for an authorial motive or what. But I didn’t enjoy it like I wanted to. Thinking about it now I’m kind of irked that the main character is a boy. Lends itself to the whole magical white man saves the
A kind of dreary beginning, a middle with real zip, and a fumbled ending => worth reading only if you like the setting or situation. The situation is kind of a post-apocalyptic near future where the vast majority of males have been wiped out by some sex-linked plague. Women take over all government and strictly limit men's ability to participate in society, and somehow that magically makes everything better. One example: military spending diverted to social betterment somehow accomplishes it, ...more
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've really become a fan of dystopia books and while predictable I really enjoyed this one. The book was paced nicely and the characters were all engaging. The book opens up with Kellen's father as a young boy first hearing about this plague that is wiping out almost every male it comes in contact with. He is out camping with his mother and sister and anxiously awaits to see if his father made it out of town before the plague hits. Then it switches to Kellen's point of view. I found it most inte ...more
Dystopia is not my genre of choice, but I picked this up because the author is coming to visit our school and the 7th grade is reading this book in preparation. Turns out it's not a classical dystopia, but a riff on utopia at a price, ala Lowry's The Giver. In this case, the price was the loss of 95% of the earth's men to a deadly plague. After they were gone, the earth was run much better by women, who decided to maintain the 5%/95% ratio of men to women. The loss is shown in the chapter headin ...more
Kellen lives in the late 2000s. In 2067 his grandfather and a whopping majority of men the world over were wiped out by a virus afterwards referred to as "Elisha's Bear." Kellen's birth is fairly unusual in that he is a male born of a actual man (not a preselected sperm)and woman. He is used to being the center of attention. Because subsequent viruses have kept the male population of earth well in check, females either excited to be near him, curious, or regard him with open hostility and suspic ...more
Jen Ozburn
Epitaph Road features a unique plot for a dystopian, post-apocalyptic book--most of the male population is wiped out by a disease, and in this new world, women have taken over governance of the world's countries virtually ending war. Each chapter starts with an Epitaph for a man lost in the plague, which are touching and well written. However, I can’t say the same for the character development. I never ended up really caring for any of the characters in the book, and their relationships did not ...more
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
This book has a really good premise, but some major issues.

The idea that 99% of the world's male population is taken out by a plague is fascinating. But then to have the world's left over female population decide that they like the odds and keep the population in control is a bit of a stretch.

The plot moves along slowly, but with enough suspense and adventure that it keeps the reader entertained. I had problems with the teenagers being the major heroes of the book and discovering the giant secr
Lev Farris Goldenberg
Epitaph road showed the good and bad sides of men and women, but showed that kids, who are new to the world, and have a different view, can have a huge impact. It was a really thought provoking book, and I enjoyed every minute of it. All people should read it because it showed what could happen if the human race continues on the path it is blazing at this very moment. What would you do if you were in the same position as Kellen, Tia, or Summer?
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if a truly brilliant man-hating scientist decided that the world was better off without men? Explore Kellen's world and the reality he comes to grips with and the role his own mother may have played in the slaughter of two thirds of the world's men.
Wow, the reviews for this were a lot harsher than I expected. No, this book doesn't exactly provide an in depth look at how society is shaped by gender stereotypes or how the world would be different if women were in charge instead of men, and whenever or not people's disappointment or bitterness is reflected in the reviews, I don't care. I just stumbled upon this on the library one day, thought it looked interesting, and picked it up. So from my perspective, from a reader that didn't know of th ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love dystopian novels, and I had high hopes for Epitaph Road."
I love dystopian novels, and I had high hopes for Epitaph Road. The concept sounded fantastic - a world ruled by women? A secret the kids have to figure out? - and both covers were gorgeous. (Though I preferred the ARC.) Besides, Egmont hadn't handed me a bad book yet. And it's not that Epitaph Road was bad. I enjoyed reading it and seeing the concept unfold, and what had happened to the world. But I felt the plot line was awfully p
Al Cormier
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
It seems Dystopia is a very hot genre with the younger set, and this book stands out in that crowd. As with most dystopian visions, this begins with a quiet apocalypse, followed, many years later, by a trio of curious teens who find they are much closer to the truth than was previously suspected thanks to a school history lesson.

Though you could tell the author wanted to tell so much more of the story, he kept it short enough for the teen attention span. It also kept my A.D.D. brain enthralled
The shocker of this novel wasn’t really one for me. I found myself highly suspicious of the onset of a plague that targeted precisely one half of the human race and ran its course in only 16 days. Did no one think to question a plague that wiped out only men and periodically surfaced and disappeared for no apparent reason until 30 years after its initial appearance? I figured it had to be the work of bungling males who thought to use Elisha’s Bear (the name of the plague—points if you get the re ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Post apocalyptic story of a world where 98% of the men were killed off in several days by a virus. Disturbing because of the romantic allure of the promise that it is a utopia. Touching because of the epitaphs that begin every chapter, providing tiny snapshots into love and loss. Not a feel good read.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was a unique post-apocalyptic thriller that had good action, and interesting characters.

Opening Sentence: Charlie frowned as muted sunlight leaked through the ragged umbrella of evergreen boughs overhead.

The Review:

Thirty years ago there was a virus that killed 97% of the male population. It was a very fast acting virus that was airborne and if you got infected you had less than 24 hours to live. After that women had to rebuild societ
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did I like it? Heck YEAH!
You'll love it if you liked: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Gone by Michael Grant
Aura: Intense, Chilling, Edgy, Heartwrenching
Read If: You're looking for something that pulls you into a fantasy world and makes you believe in it
Narration: First Person
Main Character: Kellen Dent, 14 year old male
Themes: Post-Apocalypse, Conspiracy, Death, Friendship, Parents, Love
Plot: 9.8/10
Narration: 9.8/10
Characterization: 9.7/10
Overall: 9.75/10
Did I get bored anywhere? No way!
Liz Friend
Thirty years ago, a virus swept across the globe and wiped out 97% of all males. Now, Kellen Winters lives In a society where females are in charge of everything, and everything's way better than it used to be--no crime, no war, no overpopulation. He feels like a lab specimen on a glass plate.

Two new girls, Tia and Sunday, have just turned up in the sort of boardinghouse where Kellen lives with his mother, a scientist who works for the Population Apportionment Council (PAC) to make sure the worl
Guillaume Jay
en 2067, 97% des hommes meurent, terrassés par une épidémie foudroyante. 30 ans après, dans un monde apaisé et en cours de guérison sous la gouvernance des femmes, le jeune Kellen, 14 ans, l'un des des rares enfants mâles, et issu d'une fécondation "a l'ancienne" découvre que tout n'est pas si parfait...
Cela aurait pu être un bon livre : il y a de quoi faire avec une dystopie matriarcale, mais c'est complétement raté. C'est plat, les personnages sont insipides, l'auteur est incapable de leur don
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A disease sweeps across the globe, wiping out almost all of the men. Now the world is run by women. Kellen begins to suspect that the disease isn't natural, and that his dad may be in danger.

Okay, I'm going to have to rant big-time on this book. The idea could have been cool--I know this because Sliders did an episode about it once. But this is just awful. Is it because the author is a male and can't write a convincing female personality? Or because the teenage boy feels like an adult? Perhaps.
Kay Mcgriff
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book I finished yesterday, Epitaph Road (Scholastic 2010) by David Patneaude, is one that sticks with me. It’s in one of my favorite genres–dystopian. The world in this book seems to be much improved over our current state of affairs. Poverty, hunger, war, and crime have almost entirely disappeared. How did this come about? A deadly virus nearly wiped out the world’s population of men. Now that women rule the world (and tight restrictions keep the remaining males in their place), it is a muc ...more
It’s been thirty years since the first plague swept through the world, killing the majority of the males on the planet. Being the only ones left to put the world back together, the women become the leaders of the world and the people with the most influence in society. Women make up 97% of the population. In the world they create, crime goes down, prisons empty, and the world becomes a more peaceful place to live. It is clear the men didn’t know what they were doing and because of that, the ones ...more
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What would you do if years ago a virus killed nearly the whole male population of the world? What if you were one of the few men left in a world of mostly women? What would you do if it was happening again? In Epitaph Road by David Patneaude, it is the year 2067. Woman outnumber men 19 to 1. Kellan Dent is one of the few men left, at only fourteen, he is not ready to take on his education, let alone a gender killing virus. When word gets out that there may be another outbreak of this virus, Kell ...more
Apr 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year is 2097. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious disease called Elisha’s Bear wiped out 97% of males. Women took over to save the world from falling to ruin and gradually changed it for the better. Now there is no poverty, crime, or war. The environment is thriving and renewable energy is embraced. Women seem to have fixed every problem ever created by men. But where does that leave the men who survived, like fourteen-year-old Kellen Dent? He may not have been around for the first outbreak o ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost NO MEN at all.

No male politicians ,no firemen,no postmen,no milkmen,no dustmen ,no
This is what the world is like in 2097.
Is the world better off without men?Well, you be the judge.

No crime.

No violence.

No pollution.

No wars.

No hunger.




A BRIGHT FUTURE (at least for women)

Seems too good to be true but that is the way the author describes a society run by women after a deadly virus killed 97% of the male population in the world.The remaining men are strictly supervi
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goodreads update#1 2 3 Sep 23, 2013 06:27PM  
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David Patneaude began writing seriously (more or less) in the 1980s. His first novel, SOMEONE WAS WATCHING, was published in 1993. His books have been named to dozens of state young readers' lists and honored by the New York Public Library, the Society of School Librarians International, the Winnetka (Illinois) Public Library's "One Book, Two Villages" program, and the Washington State Public Libr ...more
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