The Road meets Mad Max in this stunning debut with a gutsy, badass young female protagonist—for fans of Station 11, The Passage, and Riddley Walker. In a post-apocalyptic future where survivors scavenge in the harsh Australian Outback for spoils from a buried civilization, a girl races across the desert, holding her treasures close, pursued by the Reckoner.
Riding her sand ship, living rough in the blasted landscape whose taint she carries in her blood, she scouts the broken infrastructure and trades her scraps at the only known settlement, a ramshackle fortress of greed, corruption, and disease known as the System. It is an outpost whose sole purpose is survival—refuge from the hulking, eyeless things they call Ghosts and other creatures that hunt beyond the fortress walls.
Sold as a child, then raised hard in the System, the Orphan has a mission. She carries secrets about the destruction that brought the world to its knees. And she's about to discover that the past still holds power over the present. Given an impossible choice, will the Orphan save the only home she knows or see it returned to dust? Both paths lead to blood, but whose will be spilled?
With propulsive pacing, a rich, broken language all its own, and a protagonist whose grit and charisma are matched by a relentless drive to know, The Year of the Orphan is a thriller of the future you won’t want to put down.
Dan Findlay is a historian by training and a writer for kids by trade. Dan has over ten years’ experience editing Australia’s leading youth magazines. He also has over a decade of freelance experience as a writer and photographer for Rolling Stone Australia as well as contributing the odd music story to the Sydney Morning Herald and writing for a wide variety of other pop culture titles. He lives in Sydney, Australia.
"Challenging, thrilling . . . A satisfying exploration of desperation and imagined future myths."—Publishers Weekly
"Startling, thought-provoking, and unlike anything I’ve ever read, this story will ensnare your senses and supercharge your imagination."—Kass Morgan, New York Times–bestselling author of The 100
“A brilliantly chilling post-apocalyptic world, evoked in a voice of spare, compelling beauty . . . Every moment of the story is gripping and immediate. An all-around great novel.”—Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens and The Country of Ice Cream Star
“Year of the Orphan is a bleak and brutal take on the post-apocalyptic genre. With prose as dry and stretched out as the landscape it describes and a character you’re rooting for from the first page, it leaves you feeling like you’ve woken from a feverish dream.”—Adrian J Walker, author of The End of the World Running Club
“The ravaged land and the intense, visceral voice of the Orphan make this an extraordinary and compelling read.”—Isobelle Carmody, award-winning author of the Obernewtyn Chronicles
“Dystopian tale-telling at its absolute best. A worthy successor to The Chrysalids and Riddley Walker.”—David Hunt, author of Girt and True Girt
“A believable and alarming post-apocalyptic future.”—Australian Book Review
“Original, striking.”—Weekend Australian
“Home-grown dystopia that is both haunting and vicious.”—Andromeda Spaceways
“Definitely worth reading.”—Books+Publishing
“A distinctive story of bravery, resilience and self-sacrifice in a vicious, haunting future.”—Newtown Review of Books
“That must-read, high-calibre Australian sci fi/dystopian novel you’ve been waiting for.”—Glam Adelaide
“Fans of dystopian stories will love this world.”—Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin
“Insightful, engaging and thought-provoking”—Tharunka
“Deserves to become an Australian classic”—Mischa's Library
“An excellently written debut novel, and a compelling take on the post-apocalyptic genre.”—RMITV