New Coastal Times is one of those books that I went into with a completely different expectation than was the reality. What I expected was a disaster story, with some fun but perhaps not completely real characters, and lots of death and destruction.
After Hurricane Walter destroys the small Floridian town in which Mia works as a reporter and her husband a doctor, she gathers up a small group of her colleagues, and they start on an epic road trip across a country that is increasingly ravaged by extreme weather, encountering religious crazies, a hippy commune that's been coupled together by a government trying to cope with over population and food shortages, and an organic apple farm.
However, New Coastal Times is far more than your typical disaster novel - the characters are incredibly realistic, and it's hard not to fall in love with them all - from the main character, Mia, who I found to be incredibly witty, to her dedicated husband and a cast of characters that they adopt along their journey to New York, all of them were distinguishable and unique. And although the situations they find themselves in could actually be incredibly dangerous, their outlook and friendships make it seem much more like a road trip.
Engaging, sarcastic and unique, I really enjoyed all of New Coastal Times, but most especially the characters. Ms. Callea did a wonderful job of writing a novel that sounds like it could have gone down the mediocre road, but instead comes out as a unique book in the post-apocalyptic genre.