The Judas Syndrome starts with a group of young adults on a camping trip before school. A cloud hangs over the trip, namely a terrorist's threat of a nuclear holocaust. The trip itself gives the reader a chance to know these youths and how they react under normal circumstances. When they return, they find that the terrorists have struck, their homes and families are destroyed, and the world is in chaos.
How they respond makes up the bulk of the story. They must contend with poisonous rain, lack of power, unplanned pregnancy, marauders, religious fanatics, drug addiction and -- perhaps worst of all -- their own inner demons.
The author has a clear and lucid style that takes the reader from one vivid situation to another. The story is reminiscent of Lord of the Flies but without adults rescuing them at the end. What does happen at the end surprised me, though I admit the author had left several clues.