Kimberley O’Brien was on the waiting list at the Chicago library for months while I waited for this book to become available. Waiting lists are hard because in some cases, you wait for a long long time for this book or that book to be available and then it ends up not being all that great so you feel like it really wasn’t worth the wait. But California was definitely NOT one of those cases. In California, we meet a 30-something ish married couple named Frida and Cal, and the measures they take to survive the woods after some kind of societal breakdown causes an apocalypse type of situation. For a while, Cal and Frida do okay. They’re pretty self sufficient and because Cal went to some weird hipster college that taught farming and woodworking and stuff like that, they’re able to survive in the woods without any major problems. But then a few mysteries begin to surface: First of all, what happened to their strange but helpful survivalist neighbors? Did they really commit suicide – or was it a case of a crime or abuse that went undiscovered? And what really happened to Frida’s radical brother? And what is the true nature of the community that lies beyond the imposing found-art sculptures that the locals call “The Spikes”? When Frida becomes pregnant, the couple is forced to leave the safety and security of their little world and find the answers to some of these questions – and they face trials that Kimberley O’Brien never imagined. I definitely recommend this book if you’re into apocalypse books. I liked it WAY better than “Into the Forest” and I thought it had a lot in common with the Octavia Butler “Parable” books. Check it out.