Epitaph Road


Egmont USA, 2010

Edited for Kindle (eBook and Paperback) in 2017

2097 is a transformed world.

Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population. In the face of massive despair, women took control of the planet—and in doing so, they eliminated all of Earth’s most pressing issues. Poverty, crime, warfare, hunger: all gone.

But there’s a price to pay for this new “utopia,” which fourteen-year-old Kellen is all too familiar with. As part of a tiny minority, his career choices and relationship options are severely limited and controlled. Scattered recurrences of the plague threaten the lives of the few men who remain.

One day, Kellen overhears something he shouldn’t: another outbreak seems to be headed for Afterlight, the rural community where his father and a small group of men live. This—and a few other suspicious events—cause Kellen to wonder whether the plague recurrences are accidental. No matter what the truth is, Kellen knows one thing: he has to save his father.

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“Patneaude’s teen characters, intelligent and reasonable, question the wisdom of one group ever deciding the fate of another…a moving sense of loss blankets everything.” —Booklist

“The page-turning plot of this post-apocalyptic thriller will hook readers of the Hunger Games trilogy and provoke more than a few thoughts as well.”  —Kirkus Reviews

“The story is fast paced, and the concept intriguing. The competent world-building allows readers to fully accept the book’s premise.” —School Library Journal

“Edgy, provocative, gripping and forceful, Epitaph Road delivers as a chilling thriller set in the near future. Highly, highly recommended.” —Pamela Thompson, reviewer for VOYA Magazine and School Library Journal

  • 2013-2014 Nebraska Golden Sower Book Award Nominee