Jason's Reviews > Flowertown

Flowertown by S.G. Redling
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Jul 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: e-books, read-2012
Read on July 17, 2012

5 Stars

Flowertown is a fabulous summer read and a real sleeper that needs to get some notoriety. This is a post apocalyptic novel that takes place with an intimate setting and is a nice twist from the standards of the genre. This is not a zombie book. It is however a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your summer lounge, quickly swiping away at your ereader, and it will throw you through some kick ass twist and turns along the way.

“Flowertown was the derogatory, and therefore
customary, term for the PennCo Containment Area. It
used to be the west end of Dalesbrook, Iowa, in the
northeast corner of Penn County, until six years
ago when Feno Chemical spilled an experimental and
highly dangerous pesticide along the interstate and
into Furman Creek, which ran directly to the
reservoir that served the area.”

Flowertown is a quarantined small Iowa city that is guarded, fenced in, and is placed under extreme isolation measures. The USA Army helps maintain this locked down town in hopes that the drug companies through radical drug treatments can detoxify and cure the “Stained” affected. Over the years a huge number of people die from the pesticide. More die from the treatments. Others die by their own hands. The people of Flowertown live for years as if they were convicted criminals surving time in a maximum security detention center. Only they have it worse as they must undergo slews of tests and drug treatments.

At its heart this is a character novel that shines on its stars. Elanor Cauley, Ellie is simply one cool, messed up, and dangerously psychotic pot head. She is the star of this novel and due to her fragile psyche it is often difficult to take her point of view other than with a grain of salt. Ellie is a rebel, a smart ass, a brute of a girl, and oh yeah a major pot head too. She is surrounded by identifiable interesting characters. Bing, her best friend for all the years and coworker is the calming voice that tries to keep her in line. The rebel in her has her shacking up with Guy, an Army GI and one that she should be avoiding, not bonking. She always has a "I don't give a shit attitude."

“He shook his head. “What’s the point? You don’t
hear anything, Ellie. You’re like some subterranean
troll that just covers itself with leaves until
someone steps too close, then you lunge up and tear
them to shreds. You have two emotions—apathy and
rage – and nothing in between.” Ellie wanted him to
sop, but she could hear the truth in his words.”
It’s like you’re not even a person. You’re an…
organism.””

The book works by making each of the characters three dimensional. Guy is interesting because we do not know his motives other than that he enjoys banging the stoner. He even makes some huge life choices that are questionable and leaves us readers guessing as to where things may be heading. Bing, Ellie’s best friend, coworker, and social conscience is also quite complex and it is clear that his motives are at times contradictory to each other. He is the locals source for drugs. He also seems to be a bit of an anarchist and is always crying conspiracy and displaying clear forms of paranoia. Yet, he also takes it upon himself to try and keep Ellie straight, to make her more acceptable, and to listen to her woes as well as his own. Rachel, the gorgeous young newbie also is not straight forward. She knows a lot, has worked in many places, and at times seems too local… All these awesome character quirks made each page fly by. I loved the layers and the plot twists of this book and feel that Redling really knows how to pen a fun thriller. These are very memorable characters.

The book does a great job at world building, spelling it out quickly in the beginning of the story and filling it in through some backstory as the novel progresses. I loved the current feel that this type of apocalypse presents. Much of this story would seem feasible in our world today. I loved the dark understory, the greed, and the corruption. Humor, witty dialogue, and some awkward social situations make for some laugh out loud moments worthy of a quick reread.

Flowertown is a well written, super-fast page turner that should not be missed. This book is one of my favorite for the 2012 year as it so much damn fun to read. I just hope that this book is not overlooked.
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Reading Progress

03/02 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Jo Anne B I am so glad you read this and gave it the great review it deserves!


message 2: by karen (new) - added it

karen oooh, thank you for this...


Jason It is really a great summer read... I hope you love it!


message 4: by G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

G. Gross what you said! Can't put the darn thing down, and it was an Amazon bargain for the Kindle.


message 5: by Gwen (new) - added it

Gwen Good review - can you tell me, is this a standalone book or does it feel like part 1 in a series?


Jason This is a rarity these days as it is a standalone.


message 7: by Gwen (new) - added it

Gwen Jason wrote: "This is a rarity these days as it is a standalone."

Thanks!


message 8: by Cara (new) - added it

Cara Picked this up as a Kindle freebie/special offer but haven't got round to reading it yet - your review ensures it goes top of the list. The winning phrase is "This is not a zombie book." !!


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