Penguin, 2018 (2018)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
ric Walters is one of my favorite YA authors, and I particularly appreciate the range of his offerings, from his charming, romantic take on
Say You Will
to his dystopian
End of Days
series that begins with an asteroid heading straight for Earth.
is another dystopian, this one triggered by a massive and mysterious power outage.
ifteen-year-old Emma, her ex-Marine mother Ellen (an ER nurse) and her younger brother Ethan face the end of life as they knew it, after a power failure all over the city. Emma's parents are separated and her father serving overseas. Emma has been giving her mother a hard time, and being mean to her brother, ever since the separation. But that's about to change, as they have to face life and death challenges together.
ince they'd been about to head out on a camping trip before the power outage, they head off anyway. Cars won't start either, so they carry their canoe and supplies down to the lake and paddle out to the islands, on one of which there's a small airport. As the situation deteriorates, Ellen warns Emma that '
Normal, nice people in normal and nice circumstances become different when bad things happen.
' She calls it a
radually, the trio grows as they carefully add to their number, eventually joining a larger community on a bigger island. The city morphs into warring gangs, which eventually attack their community, where Ellen has taken control of security. Eventually, they negotiate a move of all the survivors to the airport island, a community run by a Marine Colonel. But their enemies grow in power as well.
is written in a very credible fashion, making these events very real. Emma comes quickly of age and into her strengths as a strategist and fighter, a pillar of the seeds of a new way of life. This is an exciting, gripping read that can be enjoyed by all ages - and I really hope it never happens!
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