The Dog Stars by Peter Heller is a dystopia novel published in 2012. It was a 2013 nominee for the Arthur C Clarke Award for Best Novel. This is another novel that has been on my TBR list since it came out.
“Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley. But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static-broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for.“ (GoodReads)
Without intending to I’ve read a few dystopia novels from my TBR list fairly close together. They all offer something different. Some offer a view into an alternate world resulting from an idea or technology taken too far. Others, like this one, aren’t really about an alternate world but instead about the people left behind.
In The Dog Stars the world is still the world we know just without all the people. There are only tiny pockets of people left alive trying to survive a world without a modern economy. They’re trying to live in the face of the loss of their loved ones and the comforts of their prior lives.
It’s a lovely book that mostly takes the form of Hig’s internal dialogue or thoughts. Some people didn’t enjoy the way it was written because of the punctuation and sentence structure. Honestly, I barely noticed it. Reading it was like following Hig in his mind and everything made sense. I enjoyed reading it and it was a different take on the dystopia story.