Dylan Townsend is an ordinary kid, dealing with a violent home life, until a mysterious group of people move into the new homes at the end of his street. About a dozen years of his life unfolds around the end of modern civilization. This was a great coming of age while getting a grip on a new reality story.
Waller chose one of my personal favorite apocalypse scenarios. The end of the power grid. Lights out. The preface confirms that this scenario is actually possible, which makes it outright frightening. I’m also acquainted with someone in the power grid industry who has told me that under a few unlikely, yet possible situations, America could plunge back into a preindustrial society for years.
There were plot twists I misread early on and I was delighted with how the story played out. The apocalypse happens, don’t get me wrong. The title event is not one of the twists.
I admire the subtle characterizations that went into sideline characters like Dickey. Waller didn’t waste a word on any character who doesn’t prove to piss you off or become your friend. You may not think they matter in their first scenes, but near the end they suddenly become important and you already know a bunch about them! Scenes that may have felt extraneous early on proved to be the ends of carefully woven plot threads.
I don’t want to reveal the story’s antagonist, but I will say that his character is a bit over the top and prone to extreme decision making. They proved to be unyielding, insensitive, and clingy in a way. I found it strange that the love triangle bit was so pivotal. Not like I’m complaining and calling a bluff, people in real life do irrational things with far less provocation. That’s the beauty of apocalyptic settings, people who were once civilized are now free to shape the world as they see fit.
The book was divided into acts and I really liked how each one carried its own weight and seemed to reach a finality within itself that lent to the larger story.
I received a free audiobook copy and enjoyed it while navigating the highways in what will hopefully stay a pre-apocalypse society until I learn to farm, hunt, and perform minor surgery.
All genre stuff aside, this book would be great for anyone the characterization and scenery were astounding.