Where Would You Be Now? by Carrie Vaughn

Where Would You Be Now? by Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (35 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The world as they know it is ending, a new world is taking its place. Among the doctors and nurses of a clinic-turned-fortress, Kath is coming of age in this new world, and helping define it. But that doesn’t make letting go of the old any easier. “Where Would You Be Now?” is a prequel to the novel Bannerless, a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award.

How long would you survive in a world where even the most basic medical care is hard to come by?

Even the healthiest person can quickly run into serious trouble if they develop health problems in a place where medical professionals and proper treatments are scarce at best. Some of my favorite scenes showed what happens to characters under these circumstances. From what I understand, this book is the prequel to a series that will explore this universe in much greater depth. I was impressed by what I’ve seen so far, and I’m looking forward to digging more deeply into how this world works and why some characters worked so hard to provide medical treatment to perfect strangers despite not having enough supplies for themselves.

The world building was weak. While I wouldn’t expect a narrator to go into a lot of detail about how and why modern society has collapsed in a tale of this length, it would have been nice to at least have a brief description of what happened and why the characters no longer have any hope of getting help from the outside world. It was confusing to me to read about them running low on everything from food to medical supplies without knowing why they were in such a serious predicament or how long it had been going on.

Kath was an incredibly strong and compassionate woman. She ran towards the kinds of emergencies that most people would run away from, and she did it knowing that her safety was never guaranteed in those situations in any way. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her. While she lived in a dangerous world, she never allowed the uncertainty of her life to stop her from helping everyone she possibly could.

I’d recommend Where Would You Be Now? to anyone who loves post-apocalyptic stories.

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