As one who likes to think through every scenario and plan accordingly, I gravitate towards books that offer mental bones to chew on, even if they are fiction. Just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.
I enjoyed Lights Out by David Crawford and the Last Light series by Terri Blackstock very much. The stories were very compelling and they prompted some thinking on my part. In the interest of keeping the story moving, they glossed over some things, but they were great prepper reads nonetheless. Desperate Times is another good one.
An Economic Collapse
In this story, economic collapse has come on as fast as a tornado and been just as devastating. The book doesn’t spend much time explaining what caused the collapse. That was alright with me since, in real life, the events triggering the dominoes to fall could change from week to week, depending on the dollar index, unrest over food prices, stock market drops, derivatives, etc.
I have some issues with the compressed timing of events though, mostly because I fully expect that the vast majority of people will be oblivious to what is happening until grocery store shelves go empty. The average person is paying very little attention to the looming crisis in our government’s finances, so I don’t think they will be very quick to react or organize themselves. On the plus side, with a total collapse that occurs in less than 24 hours, the action comes pretty fast in this book.
Intriguing Interpersonal Dynamics
I always find an author’s portrayal of interpersonal dynamics intriguing. Does he paint everyone in their “best behavior” light or do the characters exhibit jealousy and petty selfishness? How are leaders chosen? How do the characters determine who to let in and who to keep out? What about food and medicine?
The beginning of each chapter has a factoid that often gives the reader something to think about. Some are about little known pieces of legislation that could very well impact the rights of private citizens if they are ever enforced. Others are historical facts. One thing that begins to wears thin for me though, is the agenda of promoting openly gay members in the military. It is almost to the point of being distracting to the story and infringing on the suspense. Other than that, I find the inclusion of the relevant facts an interesting selling point.
The story was not a how-to guide to surviving. Almost all the characters are regular people rather than former Rangers, so you won’t learn how to snare rabbits with a shoelace and pocket lint. It may prompt you to think what you would do in the situations as they arise, though. Deciding in advance if you could/should use lethal force to protect food and the like are good exercises in themselves.
A word of forewarning- this novel is the first in a series of at least two and the “ending” is quite unsatisfactory to get to you buy the second one. (If you have ever read any of the Left Behind series, you will know what I mean). I “purchased” it for free as a Kindle book. The sequel is not free and I am undecided about whether I will buy it or not.
Overall, an interesting read with some prepping implications.