The SaMARITAN: Dave Jeffery
Reviewed By Steve Stred
I’ve long been a fan of Dave Jeffery’s work, but for me personally, his A Quiet Apocalypse world that started with the novella of the same name has been his high watermark. A way for him to develop his own unique (and incredibly interesting world) while being able to comment on human nature, survival and at the core of the narrative – hope.
Hope is ever-present in books one and two and so it goes that I was keen to see how book three would unravel.
What I liked: ‘The SaMARITAN’ follows in the nature of the first two books where it is a brand new story set in the same places but with new characters. While book one dedicated itself to the early stages of MNG-U, a mutated strain of Meningitis ravaging the world and leaving the survivors deaf, book two picked up the pieces shortly thereafter. Now, with book three, we get to dive further into how society has arisen and the ongoing standoff between Samaritan’s (those who live within Cathedral) and Harbingers (those who live beyond its borders).
As always, character is at the forefront with Jeffery, which means it takes a little bit for us to really get to dive into what makes our main character, Nathan, tick. When things unravel and we find Nathan separated from his fellow soldiers, Jeffery decides to throw a curveball our way and we get treated to a fascinating story. A moral dilemma, an acceptance of position and place and a resolve to survive and protect.
‘The SaMARITAN’ is very close to being the best of the three novellas thus far in the series, and one completely able to be read as a singular stand-alone without having read the first two, which is a magnificent feat.
What I didn’t like: As I mentioned, I found the first quarter or so to be a bit bogged down. It is necessary, but for those who loved the first two, if you find yourself sagging at the start, persevere, as you’re in for a treat.
Why you should buy this: As I said earlier, this world that Jeffery has created is amazing and with the third entry, Jeffery has fully formed how people will react and his ability to bring in moral and ethical dilemmas that are palpable shows his strength as a writer. These characters come to life off the pages and the reader will be wholly invested. Another stunning chapter in a world that struggles to survive.
Jeffery proves once again why he’s one of the best writers out there.
The disease known as MNG-U has staked its claim on humanity and ended the world. Those who survive have been robbed of their hearing, deafened in this quiet apocalypse. But in the city of Cathedral, they have found sanctuary.
Inside the walls, the meagre populace relies on harsh governance to keep them safe. Outside the walls they depend on Samaritans, search teams who scour the Wilderness for both resource and threat. Bound by an oath to maintain and defend their city, Samaritans are the line separating Cathedral from disorder and ruin, a mandate they pursue ruthlessly and without question.
On a routine recon, one Samaritan will find himself injured and alone and in desperate need of guidance. Where loyalties between the oath made to his beloved city will clash with promises from his past. Now he must question everything he knows, including his own purpose.
Because, lost in the Wilderness, redemption is about to become the only way to stay alive.
The Samaritan: Book 3 in The Quiet Apocalypse series.
(cover by Adrian Baldwin; central art piece by Roberto Segate)
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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