Afterland (2020, Mulholland Books) 4 stars

Most of the men are dead. Three years after the pandemic known as The Manfall, …

Serious fun.

5 stars

The timing is a bit ironic, a plague book being released just as COVID19 was becoming a household word.

The central plot device is a plague that kills almost all y-chromosome bearers. This leaves plenty of room for sly observations on human nature.

The surviving boy (Miles) spends much of the book disguised as a girl. This is a purely practical thing, I don't think people looking for a trans-kid coming of age story will find it here. On the other hand I do think it looks at coming of age issues related to sexuality and (fluidity-of) gender in a respectful and authentic way.

The main villain/anti-hero is Miles' aunt Billy who is charismatic and funny but narcissistic to the level of being dangerous to herself and others. She seemed like a not-so-heavily-veiled dig at the "heroic-entrepreneur", but I might just be projecting my own biases.

Miles' mother Cole is …