The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
After a devastating world war followed by an even worse fatal plague, Earth as we know it now is gone. The landscape is a desolate shell, populated by human slavers, scattered fortified towns and salvagers like Ben and his family. He lives with his dad and his abusive grandfather, traveling constantly, looking for anything left that has value they can use for trading. When his grandfather dies suddenly, fifteen-year-old Ben and his father hope they can change their outlook and their lives; instead of just looking out for themselves, perhaps they can be more humane like Ben’s mom was before she died. Unfortunately, when Ben’s father tries to rescue two people being held captive by slavers, he is wounded, leading Ben to make a series a decisions that eventually leads him to a town called Settler’s Landing. Although his father is in a coma and may never come out of it, Ben hopes for his recovery and slowly becomes enmeshed in the small town and the family that’s taken them in. He’s never had a home before, and the town and the non-conformist named Jenny are beginning to claim his heart.
But what will happen when a prank Jenny and Ben play on the arrogant Henry family is blamed on a neighboring town and all-out war is declared?
In addition to having an interesting post-apocalyptic premise, this novel is fast-paced and a quick read. Although the characters are not extremely detailed, the plot is full of action so it’s almost impossible to put down. I found it gripping and recommend it to science fiction fans and anyone looking for a fast and easy book.