The Dead City, Book 1: The boy from Crematorium D

The Dead City, Book 1: The boy from Crematorium D

The protagonist of The Boy from Crematorium D, Alif, lives with a group of kids in a crematorium on the edge of The Dead City. In order to survive, the kids hunt and gather food—while dodging the great, bloodthirsty wolves that prowl the outskirts of the city hunting them. Their parents suffer from a sleeping condition that affects every adult. When these children grow up, they too will fall asleep—never to wake again. But there is hope for the children of The Dead City. According to legend, a girl with a mark on her right hand will one day bring the wolves to heel…


THE BOY FROM CREMATORIUM D is book 1 of THE DEAD CITY trilogy. For readers ages 11-15 who love fantasy, dystopian fiction, and suspense.

  • The Boy from Crematorium D is a fine post-apocalyptic novel in which readers gradually understand [what they’re reading] isn’t realism but fantasy. Alif is a fully-realized character.


  • In just a few pages Henriette Rostrup manages to create a world that’s both strange and frighteningly recognizable. Having a group of children grow up in a crematorium is so brutal and brilliant that I wish I’d come up with the idea myself.

  • The book is well-written and easy to read. A very good start to a series that’s occasionally rather gloomy…. a series that begins as dystopian science fiction but, by the end, resembles fantasy.

    Danish Library Association

  • Lord of the Flies, The Walking Dead, and Jesper Wang-Sung’s The School all come to mind. This is a novel about family, friendship, trust, survival, good and evil—and, above all, stories. Who are we without our stories of religion, family, parents, society, literature? Without stories to fall back on, see yourself in, keep yourself together with. Rostrup does a fine job orbiting this theme.

  • A few times I thought I’d figured out what kind of story this was—aha! It’s a horror novel—no, wait, it’s a fantasy…hmm…. Regardless what label is applied, I can attest that this is a really terrific story…. I loved the set-up, and I’m pulled along to the end by my curiosity. A superbly written story.

  • I think the writing is stark and exhilarating. It hooks the reader with a good plot and a lot of drama.

    I would recommend the book to anyone who likes suspense, fantasy, and mystery. I’d give the book 6 stars, because it’s really engaging. I’m looking forward to book 2.

    I think the book is really well written and exciting, because there are so many details and that makes it much more suspenseful and “creepy.” You really get into it. The best part is that it’s so mysterious. You’re drawn into the mystery.

    “It’s a great reading experience, because it’s very gripping and suspenseful. I also liked all the details that make you feel like you’re right in the story.”

    “I liked that the pace of the book shifted from fast to slow and vice versa. I’d recommend the book to kids who like sci-fi, dystopian fiction, and mystery. Alif is inquisitive and he dares to break the rules to find what he’s looking for.”

    Reviews from 7th graders at the Guldberg School

  • I consumed the book fairly quickly since Rostrup has built a really cool universe. As I was reading, I kept thinking that I’d figured out the plot, but nope! It kept taking me places I never expected…. I really loved the story and the way it’s told. Can’t wait to read more of the series.

    dinboganmelder/Jonathan Ratke