on June 15, 2015 :
Gripping story, and all too plausible. There are no plot points where one says "no, that isn't possible"; more like "OMG, that could really happen"...
The only real quibble I have is that the dialog tends to be stiff, and the book really needed a good proofreader, largely for continuity errors of spelling and some typos. On the whole, highly recommended. Prepare to have your thinking about society provoked.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on July 24, 2014 :
Awesome epic book. It doesn't just deal with a collapse, but follows society for several generations, from the viewpoint of multiple characters.
"Words: 432,670" isn't a typo. This is HUGE, and it's not fluff and padding.
This is a unique story in that it includes people with disabilities, people of various First Nations, people who are immigrants, people who are visible minorities, and people of widely varying backgrounds, ethnic heritages, political views, and religions beliefs, and treats them as actual people with stories rather than background decoration. This gives so many more opportunities to develop the story, and the author fully takes advantage of it. After reading this, I realized how much it gets repetitive reading books where the same generic heroic man fights to survive, with kids and womenfolk only there to cheer him on. I think this is the first post-apocalyptic book I've read where more than half the narrative is from the viewpoint of women.
Anton Chekov wrote, "If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off.". In this book, the wall would be destroyed by a train driving through it. The author keeps things interesting by setting up the story so you expect one thing, but then knocks the legs out from under it. For example, a community develops its own currency to replace the nearly-worthless dollar, using some old store coupons they found. The characters carefully sign each one, keep track of how many are issued, monitor the relative value of the coupons to available food resources, and secretly mark the coupons to prevent duplication. You expect that they will soon have problems with counterfeit coupons, or hyperinflation. But, just like real life, events take place that invalidate your predictions.
This is really, really, really good value for the money. A lot of good story for your dollar.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)