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A rambling story with insufficient exposition
on 3 October 2013
This novel is about a group of people who are trying to survive after a disaster which is never explained in detail but we establish that there was a comet that caused huge fires. The book follows one main character and his associated group while they try and scavenge supplies, keep the peace with their neighbours and deal with some rogue elements who appear to be trying to kill them to take their supplies.
The main character is supposed to be a security expert and has the task of defensive security for the group yet is forever procrastinating about important security decisions and has failed to set up even rudimentary local defences or patrols. He manages to antagonise absolutely every single one of the group's neighbours and also sow discord within the group itself.
But aside from the self-destructive nature of the main character the book fails to satisfy on a literary level. While I understand the literal concept of the `slow reveal' where the author doesn't try and set the scene in the first few pages but provides snippets of information for the reader to slowly build a picture; this concept works well for one thing. It does not work well when it's used to for the predicament our characters find themselves in and for the history of the characters themselves, and for the description of the local area. The reader is left trying to piece the story together like doing a jigsaw puzzle in the dark.
The book would have benefited very much from a map showing the area and the other groups surrounding the main characters. There were towns and bridges and groups mentioned but by the end of the book I'd not managed to work out in my head how our characters `world' actually looked. I was well into the book before it was made clear that events were based somewhere in Canada.
Character development is also poor. Characters are very slowly introduced through the diary entries of a pervert who focuses more on how `doable' the female characters are and omits vital information that would help the reader imagine the characters such as age, main task within the group and relationship to the other characters.
I noted 11 grammatical errors throughout the book which suggests a lack of editing or proof reading.
When I downloaded this book it was free, and it was just about worth it. I'll not be going to this author again.