The Good versus the Bad, “To Thee This World is Given”
I received a copy of the novella, To Thee This World is Given, by Khel Milam to give an unbiased review. And let me say, I loved it!
Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down, easily reading it in one sitting. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. But before you flash to images of The Walking Dead or any slasher zombie movie, let me tell you that this novella is set far apart from them. Milam uses eloquent language to introduce us to an extremely desiccated world. A stark contrast. But this book is not about the zombies or the gore. It follows two nameless characters, a young girl and a man. We get a snapshot into their lives, and then they’re gone as quickly as they arrived. No backstory, just who they were in that moment.
The only encounter with zombies works to raise larger moral questions. When they come upon two children, the two discuss what’s left of them. The man sees the bad but the girl sees them as still living and in misery, they’re just “soulless maybe? Maybe that’s the whole point” (32). But just because they’re soulless doesn’t mean they don’t feel. Milam makes us view zombies as something more, as the people they used to be.
And the brief moment we spend with the young girl and man provides such a powerful insight into two different sides of a post apocalyptic world. The hope and the hopeless, converging, if only for a second.