The Line Between by Tosca Lee is a meticulously crafted and incredibly timely science thriller. It follows the journey of Wynter Roth, a young woman raised in an apocalyptic extremist Christian cult. Upon her expulsion from the New Earth community and compound, she must navigate the overwhelming world of the modern United States. As the days wear on, however, North America is gripped with a strange illness that presents as rapid, early-onset dementia. To Wynter, the epidemic and increasing natural disasters look eerily similar to the events New Earth’s prophet foretold as signs of the impending Doomsday--a Doomsday from which she no longer has salvation.
Lee handles this terrifying story with deadly accuracy, from the creeping dread that sets in with the first scene’s thawing permafrost to Wynter’s heart-pounding flight as the country crumbles around her. My background is in biology and pre-med and I was impressed with the scientific plausibility that many science thrillers lack. Having survived a pandemic and family succumbing to the same illness that inspired Lee’s fictional disease, I can say her worldbuilding in The Line Between is nothing short of prophetic. Both the overarching plot of the epidemic and Wynter’s own tale were gripping from the very first line.