By the Feet of Men by Grant Price is a very good post-apocalyptic novel, full of adventures and danger. I am glad I got the chance to read and review this book. Thank you to the author, Grant Price, for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for my honest review.
The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the world’s population has been decimated by the Change, a chain reaction of events triggered by global warming. Governments have fallen and cities have crumbled. The productions have stopped. The Alps region, which contains the continent’s fresh water, has become a closed state with heavily fortified borders.
The ones that managed to survive cling on by trading through the Runners, truck drivers who deliver cargo and take a percentage. Two Runners, Cassady and Ghazi are called to deliver medical supplies to a research base deep in the Italian desert, where scientists claim to be building a machine that could reverse the effects of the Change.
On this journey they will be joined by a collection of other Runners, all of whom have something to prove and have a story of their own. Standing in their way are starving nomads, crumbling cities, hostile weather and a rogue state set to destroy the convoy. And there’s another problem: Cassady is close to losing his nerve.
The world building in By the Feet of Men is very interesting and very well described, especially the part about the Change and the Koalition. From the beginning, we get a very good idea of what kind of world we are living in now, from global warming, to the starving nomads, to how the Runners make a living. I think that was a very good introduction to the new normal that we are about to engage in.
I think perhaps due to the elaborate description, I found the beginning quite slow. The true adventure and road trip doesn’t start until halfway through the book. Once the adventure begins, though, many things happen in short spaces of time. The pacing is quite fast until the very end. The book contains brutal and graphic details, so it may contain a lot of trigger warnings and I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint hearted people.
I loved Cassady and Ghazi and really enjoyed their backstories.
The way how they made decisions based on their past experiences, which were sometimes very different. I love the constant battle they seem to have between what is right and wrong, when a decision has to be made quite fast to ensure their survival. Sometimes, their survival might mean leaving someone behind, and not both of them would agree that this is the right decision to be made. However, I think there is something much more difficult than making such a decision, and that’s living with the consequences.
Apart from the main characters, I had a very hard time remembering the other characters and their backstories. This made me annoyed a few times. I am very good at remembering side characters, and I usually prefer them to the main characters. However. this wasn’t the case for this book. And this is something that really bothers me.
I was quite intrigued about the ending.
I enjoyed it and I liked how it ended. My initial thoughts were that it was very realistic. It also had an ending that I haven’t seen too much explored in any post-apocalyptic fiction I’ve read or seen. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of explanation to some points. However, I think the main characters’ stories and experiences in the end of the book contributed to a balanced and emotional ending.
I definitely recommend By the Feet of Men to all fans of post-apocalyptic fiction. Something new and fresh, unexplored anywhere else and full of adventure and realistic brutality. I am sure you will enjoy it.