The City Not Long After by Pat Murphy


Science FictionYoung Adult

The city, not long after The City, Not Long AfterPat Murphy; Firebird 2006WorldCatLess than 20 years ago a plague swept over the Earth, killing off most people. Now those who survive are putting life back together. In San Francisco the artists have taken over. They’re not farmers or fighters. Instead they create. They trade or scavenge for their day to day needs. Theirs is a peaceful community.

One woman left San Francisco when the plague first swept through the city. Her daughter was born on the farm in inland California and grew up there. In that area they watched as the social order came under military structure. Young One (the daughter) escaped to San Francisco when her mother was taken by the military. Now, at 16, she must warn the artists that their way of life is in jeopardy. But the residents know that the city takes care of itself.

Pat Murphy has written a young adult novel that combines fantasy with an apocalypse. Mankind is trying to rebuild after a world wide devastation. The City Not Long After is intriguing, keeping the reader pulled into this vision of the future. This urban fantasy takes place in the near future and focuses on how people treat each other. The social commentary is obvious but not annoying.

While I read The City Not Long After, I was reminded of Fifth Sacred Thing, another apocalyptic story set in San Francisco in the near future. Both look at what happens when one group of people are trying to live peacefully and another is trying to take over and instill a new world order. Murphy has added fantastic magical elements to add another layer.

Young One comes into San Francisco with the military notions she had seen. She could see no way to keep the invaders out except to fight and kill them. But the artists have a different way. Which one will decide the city’s fate? I suggest you read the book to find out.

Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations

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