Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Book Review - Soft Apocalypse
I have been really lax about getting my book reviews out lately. There really is no excuse for it either since the rain and all this horrid humidity hit a few weeks ago it ain't like I been getting much of anything else done. I will try and get a few put out over the next week or so.
"Soft Apocalypse", written by Will McIntosh is not the type of doom porn I usually find entertaining. It seems to be written more for a younger crowd and speaks more about social issues and relationships than straight up survival. However there is just enough reference to greater scale economics and political situations in this book to have managed to keep my interest.
The story itself is set from the perspective of the main character, an early 20 something (at the start) White male who I have quite forgotten what his name was. He lost his parents in the early pandemics (of many to come) that rolled across the world. The story is mostly set in and around Savannah, Georgia if I remember right and opens with our main character as a member of a nomadic-like tribe of homeless drifters.
As the story continues each chapter is another segment of the main characters life and explains the changes he goes through from being a member of a tribe of drifters to actually landing a job and settling down with a few of the special tribal members. Each chapter is also centered around his various relationships with individual women. As his personal life is going on however the author mentions what is happening on a larger scale around the world. From wars, to pandemic after pandemic, various groups taking over areas as warlords. At one point even the firemen become an armed tyrannical group.
Eventually things deteriorate too far and civilization cannot stand up any longer. A final designer engineered virus that turns humans into non-violent, happy people is spreading like wildfire and a bio-engineered variety of bamboo has been set loose that destroys pavement and concrete in a matter of hours brings everything to a stop. The remaining governments begin conscripting some and slaughtering others and what remains of the little group heads for the rural areas.
The last chapter is about the tribe's life as nomads once again and after lots of lost lives and hardship in the end the group decides to become infected with the happy virus so they can join a newly emerging group in the happy people only settlement.
I must say this book was refreshing in that the author didn't try and make some type of real social political statement with it. He kinda explained the good and the bad and made out each faction as realistic.
There were many times I almost put the book down though because I just didn't care how the main characters love life was developing, or not as the case maybe.
As far as memorable goes, an aspect I need to mention more because it's those memorable spots that stay with me and make me pick an old book up sometimes like revisiting an old friend. I must say there are a few of those in the story. Scenes that mean something but in the case of this story I am nto quite sure what they mean.
Overall I would rate this title as about a 6 or so out of 10. It was a good one time read if you can make it through the teen age girl drama relationship spots anyway.
The part when the main character had to perform emergency surgery on his girl friend while being talked through it on his cell phone by the doctor at the other end was pretty interesting.