The Road to Saratin

(3 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 and 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 world had already begun to change, in ways Carl had no idea were possible, when the voices began 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 share 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 are taken in by Kenneth who is partially responsible for the chaos in the world. The safe place is quickly infiltrated by Corporal Phelps, and they are taken back to Base 40 where Carl witnesses the Corporal torturing Astrid. In a moment of anguish, Carl remembers something he was told and puts together a plan to save Astrid and himself, and, unknowingly, the world.

Additional information

Weight 12 oz
Dimensions 5 × 1 × 8 in

Kindle (mobi), Paperback

Category ,
Tags ,
SKU bf013

3 reviews for The Road to Saratin

  1. 5 out of 5

    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. 5 out of 5

    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. 4 out of 5


    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.

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The Road to Saratin

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