Anthropologist Calliope Santiago awakens to find herself in a strange and sinister wasteland, a shadow of the New Mexico she knew. Empty vehicles litter the road. Everyone has disappeared -- or almost everyone. Calliope, heavy-bellied with the twins she carries inside her, must make her way across this dangerous landscape with a group of fellow survivors, confronting violent inhabitants, in search of answers. Rooted in indigenous oral-history traditions and contemporary apocalypse fiction.
Poet Givhan’s first novel is a unique take on dystopian fiction, weaving the culture of Pueblo peoples into an adventurous, apocalyptic page-turner. Lyrical writing and exceptional plotting make this #OwnVoices novel highly recommended for all fiction collections.
Givhan blends Puebloan, Zuni, and Mexican American cultures in this searing postapocalyptic rumination on motherhood, genocide, and environmentalism ... Poetry imbues every page with power and truth, and the intense plot is propelled by fully realized characters and a majestically primal setting ... This harrowing debut with Southwestern sensibility depicts the dangers of destroying our planet and questions whether mythology is an apt term to describe Indigenous beliefs.
A multilayered, Indigenous-inflected version of the apocalypse that resists predictability ... Givhan’s themes are complex and occasionally compete with the twists and turns of the plot for a reader’s attention. Still, texture and nuance are rare among disaster narratives and are welcome here ... A testament to the strength of women and girls with a side of philosophy, myth, and metaphysics.