Hey, guys! It’s time for another book review. I just finished this book today, so it’s fresh on my mind.
This week’s book is Reliance by Paul McMurrough. It is a apocalyptic science fiction for adults— my FAVORITE genre.
A crisis looms on the horizon. Professor Martin Monroe has predicted that a massive solar flare is on a direct path for Earth. The result will be a global power outage.
Cell towers, power grids, water systems, prisons— nothing will be left untouched.
How will the world handle this disaster?
Style: First of all, McMurrough has a wonderful voice. It’s easy-to-read but really dives into the emotion of each character. He easily balances four points of view seamlessly, something that I definitely can’t do. He’s just descriptive enough to paint a clear picture, but he doesn’t linger too long.
Length: “Reliance” is just about as long as my own book. It took me about four days to finish, but that’s only because I had other things to do. I bet if I’d sat down to read non-stop I would had finished earlier. The story was absolutely intriguing from start to finish, but we will get to that later.
Character Development: There’s four different characters in this book: Martin Monroe, Lisa Keenan, Simon Wilson, and Derek Henderson. Let’s touch base on each of those for a second.
Martin is the professor who predicts the crisis. Years before our story takes place, Martin made a bad call on the Haley Bopp comet and has since been branded as a bit of a wackjob. Yet, he refuses to let people ignore him this time. The author paints Martin as a anxious, jittery, somewhat depressed man who would do whatever it takes to look out for the people around him.
Lisa works on an emergency response team for the government. Her job is simple: put together a statement to the public and help coordinate relief efforts if needed. That gets made a lot more complicated when the power goes out and no one has a working phone. She joins forces with Martin to try and get the news out to the locals, if they can get anyone to believe them in the first place. The author paints Lisa as a kind, determined girl who cares strongly about her job and the people she serves. I was genuinely concerned about Lisa towards the end of the book! No spoilers this time, but
I thought she was a goner.
Simon is Martin’s closest— and only, really— friend. Having lost his wife a few years back, Simon is a bit of a loner. But, when push comes to shove, Simon will stand up for Martin and his neighbors. I really liked this character. He was helpful but showed a lot of vulnerability when it came to the things he witnessed.
Last but not least is Derek. As a prison guard, Derek’s job was never easy. The power outage only makes it worse, though. Staff stop coming into work; supplies start running low. Derek’s forced to make one of the hardest decisions of his life. Derek was my FAVORITE character! His story pulled me in. I felt for him, rooted for him, and wanted to cry for him.
Plot: Now, I know I ranted on and on about the characters, but truly, the best part of this book was the plot. As it follows the four characters, there never was a slow part. Sometimes, I find myself skipping around books that are a bit slower, but I promise you, I read every word of this book. From the moment Simon got the phone call from Martin about the solar flare all the way to the final farewell, I was hooked.
Each character’s story adds something to the plot. I honestly would have never thought about how a response team would handle a near-apocalypse. Yet, with Lisa, I get to see that. Simon shows us the civilian point of view, including all the looting and stealing and murdering. With Derek, we get to see a man struggle to take care of his family and worry about the people he’s tasked with.
This story is so immersive. I swear. I felt like I was there the entire time. It almost makes me want to start being a prepper. I’m going to start buying non-electric supplies and stocking up on batteries. First, I need to actually find a flashlight that isn’t my phone.
The Big Picture here, I believe, is on the fact that we rely so much on electricity. We’d be doomed without it, and this book shows that clearly. It’s scary.
Pick up this book. You WILL NOT regret it.
This is the link here to buy it.