Review: The Savage Boy by Nick Cole

February 26, 2013 3 stars, 3.5 stars, Book Review 4 ★★★

Pabkin’s One Liner: A sad vision of our possible future


The author of the acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel The Old Man and the Wasteland returns! Amid the remains of a world destroyed by a devastating Global Thermonuclear Armageddon, barbaric tribes rule the New American Dark Age. A boy and his horse must complete the final mission of the last United States soldier, and what unfolds is an epic journey across an America gone savage.

The Savage Boy had me speculating the whole time on possible apocalyptic futures. The protagonist recently lost his traveling partner…I don’t know what else to call him, maybe a parental figure? Anyways, he was an old soldier that took care of him and taught him the ways of this post apocalyptic America. He gives him a mission, on his death bed, that he is supposed to travel to California and tell the remaining military that there is no government left in Washington.  Even though this character is dead at the beginning of the story, he was a strong character and I really felt his presence through the whole thing.  I thought that was really well done the way Cole pulled that off.

The Savage Boy starts out so promising. It has a very somber but determined tone. What I don’t get is why this “Boy” doesn’t have a name. The old soldier always called him “Boy” so I guess that is his name on a way. I don’t know why that bugged me so much, it just did. Cole uses it to his advantage later at the end, trying to prove the point that the Boy has to decide for himself who he was and not let others do it for him, but personally he was a very strong individual to survive at all in that post apocalyptic America let alone by himself.

I liked all the struggles Boy goes thru the first half of the book. But the after the middle of the book my interest quickly dwindled. Mostly I think it is because I didn’t think some of it was realistic. After just 40 years for society to have dwindled down to that many dialects and tribes. Maybe I’m an optimist. Ultimately I think whether a reader would like this depends on if they like tragic endings or happy endings. Me, personally, I was in the mood for a little light at the end of the dark tunnel and didn’t get it.

Tabitha the Pabkins

The Savage Boy

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• This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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4 Responses to “Review: The Savage Boy by Nick Cole”

  1. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    This sounds like it could have been a great book, too bad that the second half went downhill for you. I don’t mind not having a happy ending, but sometimes a darker ending isn’t very fun either. Great review!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I don’t mind a sad ending either – sometimes that’s exactly what you need to prove a point. I think that’s what he did here. Too bad I wanted things to be better!