And yet, despite the grim setting and circumstances, I found myself chuckling at, and with, Prudence and James. While Michael clearly prefers dark places, he has a gift for infusing his characters with humor, and he delights in their idiosyncrasies. Prudence and James bicker and connive; they are a bit lusty—and entirely fallible. As these two characters make their way through the wilderness, their humanity stands in stark contrast to the ruins of a devastating war. In this way, Michael plays with dark and light, tweaking our noses right when we start to feel too righteous, never letting us forget that no one, and nothing, is entirely good or bad.
- Jodi Warshaw, Editor