This is not really a disaster book, and there’s no trace of ‘apocalypse’ in Book 1. Really, it’s a romance novel, and a very vague disaster scenario serves the purpose of bringing a few strangers together at the beginning. From there, it’s reminiscent of The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie, but with some violent episodes.
I think the author writes both the rural family and violence aspects well, but this book was not what I was looking for.
It may be unfair on any author to be read straight after I finish a novel by Arthur T. Bradley, whose writing style is so precise, and publications so well edited. But that does not change the words that are collated into this first McClane instalment. The story itself has some well set up moments, but occasionally the language lets the overall work down. It’s not that it’s incorrectly used , except for terms such as “it was something that had needed done for many generations” – this is apparently how people in a certain location speak, so I tried to get used to it. But in addition, the narrative language is sometimes so simple that it’s a bit annoying. One example: “Hannah chuckles quietly in the corner while chopping potatoes. She’s moved on quickly from bread and is now chopping potatoes.” Okay. Does the repetition signify that potatoes are somehow important? No.
Moments like that are not immediate deal-breakers for me, but by chapter 4, I did get annoyed that the book is generally written in the present tense. No doubt that’s meant to draw the reader into the moment, so I won’t quibble with the principle. However, it gets cumbersome when switching back and forth between the present and recounting some past event. And all that is more awkward because often it’s difficult to know who is talking or being written about.
However, I was much more annoyed that some of the logic is a bit weird. Three examples from the first chapters:
- It’s reasonable that there would be a first aid kit kept near a university lab where cadavers are dissected, and at a stretch I’d buy that the kit would include sutcher materials, but there’s no chance it would contain morphine.
- Whilst on the business of retaliating to other parts of the globe, the British Prime Minister launched nuclear missiles at Moscow “for good measure”, even though Russia had not yet attacked.
- Reagan’s self-sutchered and dressed wounds send “splatters” of blood over the car, yet the medical student (who knows a lot about medicine, apparently) “decides she’ll stop again in a few hours to address her bleeding”. Pretty sure there’s a life-and-death difference between a splatter and a drip. Word choice is important.
I finished this book, but I will not buy the next in the series. Despite what I’ve written above, the reason is mostly that I am not into romance novels. Those who do, will probably really enjoy this.
The author’s website is at http://www.katemorrisauthor.com/#!books/cnec