What would you do if you were hiking and the world came to an end?
The start of Wormwood by D.H. Nevins begs that question. Young outdoorswoman Kali is strolling along when the ground churns and the sun disappears behind ominous clouds. Even more disturbing is the fact that Tiamat, a striking man she’d met ten years earlier, seems to be commanding the destruction from a rocky peak. Kali survives the initial chaos to discover that the earth is toast and Tiamat is more than he seems.
Wormwood is a post-apocalyptic novel of survival interwoven with a paranormal romance. I should note that post-apoc isn’t my cup of tea. The typical amount of destruction and despair is too depressing for me. I agreed to read Nevin’s manuscript after meeting her at Readercon 2010. Her enthusiasm for her story is infectious.
Overall I enjoyed Wormwood. Nevins has created a mythology that borrows from Christianity without being preachy. Kali is a tough, resourceful protagonist, and Tiamat a half-angel tortured by his orders from on high. The sexual tension between the two is palpable. Nevins does a good job describing the landscape before and after the apocalypse, as well as drawing the primary and supporting characters. She either is a proficient outdoorswoman herself, or has done her research. Survival for the remaining humans is difficult, but not impossible. Kali’s and Tiamat’s story comes to a conclusion, but leaves room for a sequel.
If you enjoy post-apocalyptic tales with a healthy dose of paranormal romance, Wormwood will not disappoint. I wish Nevins the best of luck with finding a publisher!