I feel like this book could have been so much more than it was.
The story of Epitaph Road revolves around the generic, unlikable protagonist Kellen, a boy in a world with 95% women. While the book attempts to touch on deep philosophical, moral and sexist issues, you will find you never actually care. The characters are predictable and boring, and the plot is little more than an aimless romp through an uninteresting world. Every “twist” in the plot you will guess a whole 20 minutes beforehand, and there are many plot threads with absolutely no resolution. Furthermore, there is little to no characterization. Every time someone died, I was completely emotionless due to the characters being thoroughly unlikable. The author fails to make you care about the characters, and the book, which revolved around the characters, suffers greatly because of this. What could have been an interesting discussion about women ruling the world instead turns into one old lady’s quest to murder every man alive (no joke), and her motivation is absolutely non-existent.
In the end, Epitaph Road is a boring, unfocused dystopian novel that will leave you completely confused from beginning to end. Patneaude could have made a great addition to the dystopian literature field, but ended up making an embarrassing mess that few can enjoy. Only die-hard dystopian literature fans will take any measure of pleasure out of this.
Review by Jacob