Title: Ghost City
Author: Madeline Claire Franklin
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Young Adult
Pages: 326 Paperback
Copy Origin: Copy provided by author
If you want an example of excellency in self-publishing, Madeline Claire Franklin is one author I’d use. And Ghost City is the novel I’d pick to further my point.
As a post-apocalyptic/slightly paranormal novel, it isn’t as action packed as you might expect. Rather it focuses entirely on the characters and how they’ve adjusted and tried to move on in the After. Kiddo has probably become one of my favorite leads of all time: She’s resourceful, stoic, intelligent, but she isn’t without her flaws. I seriously enjoyed reading about her and rooted for her throughout the entire book.
I also loved Saver/Noah, who in the beginning I feared would be a rather stereotypical antagonist. But he develops beautifully over the course of the book, and I enjoyed his relationship with Kiddo, as complicated as it was.
If there’s a character I felt didn’t quite serve any purpose, it was Caroline, unfortunately. I found her interesting in the beginning but then she was sort of pushed to the wayside, which was unfortunate. I did enjoy her friendship with Kiddo and Princess, but the sibling relationship between Kiddo and Princess outshone the other relationships. It really was a joy to see a relationship between two girls who see each other as sisters be good, loving, but also complicated.
The fact that we never really find out what happened to cause the end of the world actually worked in the book’s favor. Honestly, the story isn’t about that: It’s about how these kids come together and try to find hope in a seemingly hopeless world, and how one person can change everything. We get a few details, but leaving it more of a mystery was the right choice.
Honestly, I adored Ghost City, and I highly recommend it to anyone going through a dystopia/post-apocalyptic fatigue. It’ll help reawaken your love for the genre.