The Road to Saratin

(5 customer reviews)


Twenty-two years ago, voices started talking inside six-year-old Carl’s mind, causing him to be taken to the Freedom Institute for observation by a megalomaniac doctor until the voices tell Carl it’s time to leave. He begins his trek across an unwelcoming land to find his mom, finding many perils along the way and answers he already knew.

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The Road to Saratin BGS Books Go Social Gold Seal
Reader's Favorite Five Stars - Road to Saratin Reader’s Favorite 5 Stars
September 2020 RRBC Book of the Month

The world had already begun to change, in ways Carl had no idea were possible, when the voices started speaking to him on the night of his sixth birthday. When Carl’s mom contacted Dr. Emerson Sharod at the Freedom Institute, she had no idea that the time she cherished with her son would end.

Twenty-two years later, the voices urge Carl to leave the Freedom Institute after a man is slain under suspicious circumstances. He doesn’t question them and naively crosses the threshold into the city of Montford, where he knows no one. A few help him, risking their safety so he can escape the walled city and begin his trek to find his mom in Saratin.

The world outside the walls is stranger than the city, with unknown dangers at every step, though not everyone is a foe. Along the way, he meets many who help him and shares stories about what caused the changes in the world. When he reaches Base 40, he comes face to face with Astrid, who rescued him from freaks on the first day of his travels. He is worried that she will tell the baser leader, Corporal Phelps, that he’s the escapee from the Freedom Institute, but she does not.

After an uncomfortable meal with Corporal Phelps, Carl shares his story with Astrid. She agrees to take him to Saratin. Reaching the tent city outside the walls of Saratin, they search for refuge, and Kenneth, who is partially responsible for the chaos in the world, takes them in. Corporal Phelps quickly infiltrates the safe place, and they return to Base 40, where Carl witnesses the Corporal torturing Astrid. In a moment of anguish, Carl remembers something he was told, helping him put together a plan to save Astrid and himself and, unknowingly, the world.

Additional information

Weight 12 oz
Dimensions 5 × 1 × 8 in

Kindle, Softcover

5 reviews for The Road to Saratin

  1. Robert Fear

    Dystopian fiction is not my normal genre, but this book made a refreshing read as it was so different.

    The story follows Carl, a man haunted by myriad voices in his head since the age of six. We join him twenty-two years later in the Freedom Institute. He knows little of the devastation that overtook the world not long after his incarceration, or of the freaks and mutants that roam outside the three remaining cities. His world has become limited to the doctor who “treats” him and the daily tasks he performs, but everything changes when a colleague dies and suspicion falls on Carl.

    In an intricate storyline, the voices urge him to leave his institutionalised life. They guide him along a path of twists and turns, away from the city of Montford. He aims to find his long-lost mom in another of the surviving cities, Saratin. His many encounters and adventures make for an intriguing, if sometimes disturbing, read. The ending is surreal but satisfying.

    This book is a real page-turner and stretched my imagination. It surprised me what can be achieved within this post-apocalyptic style of writing.

  2. Michelle Mollohan for Readers’ Favorite

    Charles W Jones’s The Road To Saratin is a gripping dystopian saga. There is a mysterious chemical attack that causes mutations in humans. Carl is a 28-year-old man who was taken to the Freedom Institute under the care of Dr. Emerson Sharod when he was just 6 years old. Carl hears mysterious voices all talking at once in a jumble that he can rarely interpret. Dr. Sharon experimented on him to try to tease the voices out. Despite Carl emphatically stating that he no longer hears the voices, Dr. Sharon does not believe him. One day the voices speak to him as one, telling him that it is time to leave. He walks out of the Institute and is shocked by the changes to the outside world over the 22 years since he has seen it. Carl is determined to travel to Saratin, the town he lived in with his mother. Along the way, he has to try to hide from the people seeking to return him to the Institute as well as from the mutated humans looking for a meal. During his travels, he is saved by Astrid, a woman doing recon for one of the bases nearby. Aided by the voices, he manages to overpower her and take her weapon. Astrid tracks him down and instead of turning him in as he feared, she joins in his journey.

    I highly recommend Charles W Jones’s The Road To Saratin. With the current climate of viruses and potential bioterrorism, coupled with our lack of preparedness in staving them off, this story is eerily relevant. I feel that The Road To Saratin differs from other end-of-the-world scenarios in that it gives you not only a glimpse of the good guys but also the villains’ points of view, which provides a rich, detailed backstory. This is a medium-paced book full of memorable characters. The voices that Carl hears are varied and entertaining, from Milton who acts as his muscle to Miriam who hides his tracks along their journey. Carl also makes friends with people along the way. I loved Serena, the Matron of Sanctuary, a tent city. She stood her ground and refused to be intimidated or to let Astrid search within for Carl. I also enjoyed Thea, the good-humored leader of Bonneville who made Carl cut firewood she didn’t need to trade for food and shelter. The conclusion of this book is immensely satisfying as it leaves no questions unanswered.

  3. JanS

    This story is SO far outside my normal comfort reading zone that I didn’t know what to expect. But the blurb drew me in and I was not disappointed. I immediately had empathy for the main character, Carl. He’d been taken from his home at the age of six, and at that age, had no idea why. Just the irony of the name of the facility where they took Carl shows the mindset of this writer – The Freedom Institute. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As the story unfolds, we learn that a small group of people determined to gain control of the world experimented with travel through other dimensions, capturing and bringing back souls. How so many of them wound up living inside Carl was not quite clear, but even as far-fetched as it sounds, this writer made it all believable. I also found it interesting how Carl learned to tune out the myriad of voices and conversations that went on constantly inside his head. The evil, greed, corruption, and lack of a moral compass in this story could easily be compared to our world of today, and it is chilling. There are mutants, monsters, and giants as a result of chemicals dumped on humans. This author did such a good job of describing these “freaks” in the story, I had no problem picturing and even smelling them. As one reviewer said, this book stretched my imagination and kept me turning page after page. I had to see what eventually happened to Carl, and to Astrid, the woman who was determined to help him. If you love a well-written dystopian story, you are going to devour this one. Journey with Carl on his mission to find his mother and eventually save the entire world from the clutches of vile leaders.

  4. D.L. Finn

    I enjoy a good post-apocalyptic story, and I wasn’t disappointed in “The Road to Saratin.” There’s something hopeful when humans face the worse in humanity, including greed, power, and insanity— yet survive. Something was released on the public, and cities built up their walls to keep it out. Carl was behind one of these walled cities after being taken from his mother at a young age, for reasons he didn’t understand. A couple of decades later, he was still trapped in an institution being studied. Carl was a character who won my heart with his almost childlike way of looking at a world that was foreign to him. His main goal was to find his mother in another city with help from voices that lived inside him. I love the relationship he developed with Astrid and how he finds his direction. The descriptions of the landscape and mutants made them come to life for me. It was a fast-paced science fiction tale. The ending was satisfying. I recommend this story, especially for all who love an intricate dystopian read.

  5. Rox Burkey

    I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with Author Charles W Jones on this story. One of the best parts is his design of this unique yet appropriate cover. Charles brings a distinct perspective of Carl, the main character, through various stages of his life. It seems that at 6, Carl hears voices which caused his mother concern. Mom takes Carl to a psychiatrist. When Carl’s dead father provides a comment during the psych evaluation, everything changes. Carl enters the Freedom Institute.

    “”Mrs. Forsythe, your son suffers what is called Tourette Syndrome,” the doctor said. “And possibly Multiple Personality Disorder. Has he suffered any trauma lately? Abuse of any kind?”

    “What? No,” Carl’s mom said; she’d moved to stand behind her son while the doctor was speaking. The doctor moved his gaze back to Carl.

    “You’re full of shit, bud,” a man said, standing in front of the closed door. Carl turned in his seat to see him. He was tall with smooth, light skin, and muscles bulging the sleeves of his camouflage jacket. His dark hair and eyes were the same color as Carl’s. Carl smiled at the man…”

    For the next 22 years, Carl is poked, prodded, and evaluated. At 28, the voices speak as one, instructing him to leave the Institute. The voices each interact with him to protect, guide and keep him company on his journey to his childhood home, Saratin. The frightening elements of greed, power, and control achieved by unleashing time travel, chemicals, and mutations are abhorrent. The world becomes outrageously filling with monsters and a place no longer recognizable as Carl sets out to find his mother.

    Though Carl is my favorite person, I enjoyed Astrid, who finally joins his quest. The actual people and voices each have distinct personalities as well as critical roles in this saga. Other memorable people include Serena, who assists Astrid in hunting for Carl. In some ways, this story’s power reminded me of the world creation that Ayn Rand did with Atlas Shrugged circa 1957.

    This is a superbly crafted story that takes hold of a reader immediately. I found it well-written, exciting, and sadly close to our world today. The divisions are so strong, yet somewhere there is the potential for hope. I recommend this for fans of dystopian worlds that seem to be almost too real, especially at the fitting end. You don’t want to miss this story or others by Author Charles W Jones.

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