Itsuki, by Zach MacDonald
When a life means the world, there is no letting go.
Brook travels on foot down a highway cut through the British Columbian wilderness, carrying with great care a paper doll he calls Itsuki. A disaster has largely emptied the land of human presence, yet he fears he is being followed, and by night a strange aurora burns in the sky, illuminating an eerily silent world. His uneasy solitude is broken when he encounters a frightened and unstable teen, Geoff, who bears the psychological scars of a warped upbringing and horrific recent history.
Struggling for survival, Brook recalls the events and decisions that have led him to this point, beginning years before, when he was known as Michael. Bitter and alone, he’d moved to Japan, seeking revenge on the man he held accountable for destroying his brother’s life. Unexpectedly, it was there he found friendship, love, and a sense of belonging that his life had long lacked—until the target of his vendetta sought retribution, with profound consequences not only for Michael, but humanity itself.