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The USA has been ravaged by Civil War. It's thirty years since the first wind-borne viruses ended the war between North and South - and still they keep coming. Every wind brings a new and terrifying way to die. The few survivors live in constant fear, hiding from the wind - and from each other.
In this harsh Southern expanse, brothers Garrett and Dyce Jackson are on the run from brutal law-enforcers. They meet Vida, a lone traveller on a secret quest. Together, they will journey into the dark heart of a country riven by warfare and disease.
This is the story of Dyce and Vida.
This is the story of The Cure and how it came too late.
This is the story of South.
Frank Owen is the pseudonym for two authors - Diane Awerbuck and Alex Latimer. Diane Awerbuck's debut novel GARDENING AT NIGHT won the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize and Diane was shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2014. She has long been regarded as one of South Africa's most talented writers. Alex Latimer is an award-winning writer and illustrator whose books have been translated into several languages.
Dark and beautiful and surprising. I loved it.
South is an absolute blinder of a book. With its cracking pace, unforgettable characters, deliciously gruesome premise and you-won't-see-them-coming twists, if this doesn't make 'book of the year' shortlists, I will eat my Stetson. The Sisters Brothers meets The Stand, it's a post-apocalyptic genre game changer.
There are echoes of Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Stephen King's The Stand, plus graphic violence and heart-stopping action set pieces, but what lifts South above many recent examples of the subgenre is Owen's pared-down prose, slick narrative and the sensitive depiction of Dyce and Vida's relationship.
There's a constant, creeping sense of menace, plus enough fresh ideas to give South its own identity.
David West, SFX