In the distant, post-apocalyptic future, a 15-year old boy stumbles on a world where humans are hunted by a mysterious Park Service and sets out to uncover who’s behind the gruesome killings.
Aubrey Van Houten is a 15-year-old misfit who spends his time reading and dreaming about the good old days above. Believing the planet uninhabitable after a global nuclear war, Aubrey’s people live deep underground, begrudgingly working assigned jobs until they can retire at 35 to a virtual reality paradise. Through a series of curious accidents, Aubrey stumbles onto the surface and discovers a real paradise off limits: a pristine planet where humans are hunted and killed by a mysterious Park Service. Now, Aubrey must decide between his only friend, his true love, and his imprisoned people, as he struggles to find the courage to stand up to evil, no matter how pretty its face.
Another blockbuster by new author Ryan Winfield. In his second novel, Ryan takes a total turn and goes from the powerful, awe-inspiring book “South of Bixby Bridge”, to a young adult novel about love, war and moral decisions.
The start of the book describes the end of the world as we know it. Holocene II is the setting of this powerful story. An underground city made up of 5 different levels. Aubrey and his father live in Holocene II where he attends school and his father works in the labs. There are 5 other levels, each with their own living quarters and assignments. At age 15, each child is tested to see where they will go. No one has ever gone up to Level I – until Aubrey. Everyone is so proud of him and his accomplishment. But, as he gets ready to head to the Foundation with dreams of making the earth habitable for his friends and family, he knows that this will be be the last time he sees his father. In 123 days, his father retires to Eden where he will reunite with his mother……so he thinks.
“The Park Service” brings you through the life of Aubrey as he finds out that everything he has been taught is nothing but a lie. That Eden is not what they were told it was. That the ultimate plan is to return the earth to it’s past splendor and not allow any humans to inhabit it. That “The Park Service” has been hunting and murdering humans so that they do not tarnish the earth. That him and Hannah have been chosen to bring earth back to it’s glory. But at what cost? In the end, he has to make a decision that will either destroy the earth or everyone in Holocene II. The last question on the test becomes totally clear to him and he now understands why he was chosen:
“You’ve been placed in command of Holocene II and entrusted with protection it. The basement level bio-testing lab has uncovered an airborne parasitic pathogen that kills almost every person it infects, and all or most of its citizens are infected. There is currently no cure for this infectious agent and you face an impossible choice – you can seal off the level, imprisoning its people to a terrible fate but saving the other levels from infection, or, you can continue to support the infected level in hopes that a cure might be discovered before it spreads into a pandemic that will destroy all of Holocene II and with it, our species. Please select your answer below.
A. Seal off the infected level and save Holocene II.
B. Render aid to those infected and risk total destruction.”
Again, I was awed by the writing of Ryan Winfield. The storyline is fast-paced and powerful. His writing style is riveting and exciting. Many authors have caught my attention and held me to a book for one reason or another but Mr. Winfield’s style of writing is like none that I have ever encountered. He has a way of describing actions, places and things with such clarity that you feel that you could see, feel and hear them. He draws you into the story and doesn’t let you come up for air. You read, wait and wonder what will be next. If you enjoy YA with a powerful storyline, you will love “The Park Service”. I am really excited and looking forward to Book 2 of The Park Service Trilogy – to see what Aubrey decides, to watch the love bloom between him and Hannah and to find out what awaits Jimmy.