Author: Matthew Mather
Year of Publication: 2013
Plot: What would happen if things suddenly change? Internet and cell phones stop. The power goes out. A huge winter storm blast New York and strange events happen across the nation. New York is cut off from the world. Soon a mystery deepens. At first no big deal, a basic black out. But not all is what it seems. Days and then weeks pass. New York has no contact with the outside world. Enter your main characters, one family trying to survive a catastrophe.
My Review and Thoughts:
An intense, dramatic, book about just what could happen in all it’s horrible realities. Normal life altered. Everything we rely on changes. Power, Phones, Internet and basic human skills must form to create a living reality. This is a jam-packed awesome what could happen if life as we know it all changed overnight. A woven mystery of survival in all its intense glory. I was thoroughly hooked. I felt the intensity of the situation and most of all the human instinct of survival rushed through my blood as I turned each page.
This is what I call a perfect WHAT IF storyline. An exploration of the What If’s of life. The way this book is written, in a way like an unfolding moment in today’s world on just what could happen and just what might be the most real written and displayed society and its actions. This has all the trademarks of a survival setting that seems like the end of the world run crazy. I am a sucker for huge winter storms in stories. There are many scary things in life, but losing every ability to communicate, or find out information on what is going on and not being able to, then a huge storm, darkness, and the idea of safety. This plays out like a claustrophobic mind screw of emotions. There is something scary about not being able to know what is happening or what has taken place or what is going on. There is a human side of all of us that need to know the now, but what if you have no means of knowing the now of what is happening, that’s scary.
This book brings a tight dreading fear that lingers in your bones. The winter storm causes you to be chilled the way the intensity of the characters are written and displayed in vivid interactions with the surrounding reality. Mather knows how to write a real-life setting. Mather knows how to place fear in his characters. Mather knows how to display perfect survival reality. Mather creates a doomsday reality around modern life. We as a society are so lost inside our technology and machines that in honesty if technology was to vanish, if power was to stop, and worse yet a storm of magnitude, sadly to say the majority of society would die because we are so hung up on technology and power, that so many humans would not know how to survive and take charge of their lives. Mathers creates a perfect setting of situations that are believable and downright humanly scary.
What makes this book so strong is the human side that Mather places into the story. Most of the book is the personal struggles of a group of persons in one apartment building. The survival is displayed in a dramatic way that lingers with emotional realities. The personas are intense and real as they struggle for knowledge, medical, food and so on. There is an intensity of personalities woven into the story. Your main players all come together to create a personal side of society that mixes with the will to live through any means. That bond of human, mix with the destruction of society creates a believable plot. Mather holds tightly to the reader.
The book is thick with character development. You get to know each player over the many chapters of the book. The destruction of power, internet and machines and all the basic things that make our life function into today’s world is really a back thought to the story, because the characters are the main point and that is what displays itself in all it’s imaginative glory. Mather creates a small community of people and all the dramatic moments of survival and life. As you read along you can’t help but want to know what happens next, or what really is going on. There is a lot of fear and talk about what has transpired in the world making it a more logical setting because rumor and fear can lead society into a bitter reality.
What makes this book so awesome is, it has all the trademarks of what could happen right now in this world. It’s logical. Its believable. Its reality based. FEAR, PLAGUE, LACK OF KNOWLEDGE can take its power and force society into a spiraling catastrophe. A very thoughtful read. A book that makes you think and makes you linger on just what could take place.
If I had to pick out one negative reality to the book, I did not care much for the ending. I would have not done the ending the way that unfolded. I am not going to give anything away, but I would have left the doomsday style setting and not created what transpired. I was somewhat let down after reading the whole book of catastrophe and was thoroughly set in that stage of the story and would figure the outcome that basis. If you read the book you will see what I am saying. I just felt like it was a bummer. But with that said, still a solid wonderful, descriptive, scary reality style book. It makes you think, it makes you question and most of all it makes you thoroughly entertained.
Would I Return to it Again? This author has just become a new favorite of mine. This is the first time I have ever read anything by the author, and I am floored at how brilliant and perfected this author is. I will return to this book sometime down the lane of time, because it’s one of those books that demand a second or third reading. It’s one of those books you can return to repeatedly. And after reading it I found out there is a Part 2 and a part 3 to the characters which is kind of cool. But this is a stand-alone and you don’t have to read Part 2 or 3 to get the full story. This books end, so don’t worry when I say there are others. But if you want to adventure into the characters then head on over and read part 2 and 3.
Would I Recommend: Absolutely. This is one of those books I think should be read and explored with all it’s wonderful direction in plot, action and character.
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (I would have given it a 4 but the ending kind of let me down a little so I had to take away a half a point).
Four Final Words: Brutally honest. Fantastically Mastered.