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I grew up somewhere between Wisconsin and Iowa, not very far from the Mississippi River, where I dreamed of far-off worlds and their strange inhabitants. I enlisted in the U.S. military and traveled all over, learning that those far-off worlds weren't very far away and sometimes the real world was stranger than anything I'd dared imagine.
These days I can be found in Maryland alternating between life as a management analyst at a federal agency and being a husband and father at home, happily sharing stories and solving problems as the situation requires.
on Dec. 17, 2011 :
"Reboot" by Carl Rauscher is an entertaining post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi novel that I managed to complete within a couple of days. The basic premise of the story is that an electromagnetic event known as "The Pulse" was set off in order to wipe out a dangerous computer virus. The result of this was that all micro-processors were destroyed, from those in high end super computers right down to those that were running elevators and doing other mundane task. Now, several years later the majority of America is utilising very low levels of technology and there is barely any communication between different areas of the country. Into this world is thrown Oscar, a man who has been sent out by the government to try and inject some more technology into various communities in an attempt help improve the lives of the people there. However, when Oscar arrives at a small town after being beaten and shot, he spends the winter trying to both help the there and deal with those who had attacked him.
I will start by saying that I really enjoyed the novel and I found the reason for the demise of civilization to be a little bit more original than some other post-apocalyptic stories. In a genre that can become a bit "samey" it was nice to read something that didn't head down in the usual dictatorial government or zombie route. The author has also put a lot of consideration into the story and has detailed quite thoroughly the issues and problems that would face people when the basic items we take for granted today are no longer available.
The plot itself moves at a reasonable pace and there is ample adventure, mystery, humour and drama to keep most readers entertained. The characters all seemed to be believable and well developed which meant that I actually found myself caring what would happen to them all as the story progressed. The only weak character would probably be the "bad guy" of the story who seems to hide and avoid the townspeople even though he could easily do what he wanted without being stopped. I still don't really understand what he was doing or why he was doing it, considering the position of importance and safety he found himself.
One negative aspect I did observe is that the plot became distracted by the fact that a fair bit of the novel is told from the perspective of a young girl called Rabbit instead of Oscar himself. In my opinion, it just meant that parts of the story become bogged down in rather mundane and uninteresting aspects like how much she liked a toy that Oscar had made for her. I just felt that there was so much more I would have loved to know about Oscar and his past but there was little time to investigate this in the novel due to the elements involving Rabbit and other side characters.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book and it was actually nice to read a post-apocalyptic novel that ended up with some real hope and a government that was trying to actually do the right thing. I read this book very quickly once I started and I really hope that there is more novels in the future that will continue Oscar's journey. If you enjoy post-apocalyptic novels that don't go into mutations, magic powers or zombies then go ahead and pick this up as it is an interesting read.
(reviewed long after purchase)