Sunday, 25 March 2012

LastLight / AfterLight

Last Light

"Very few people saw it coming, everyone seemed to busy to care…  
It’s just a temporary halt in oil production – but within days, the implications are devastating. Andy Sutherland, a civilian engineer, is stranded in Iraq, determined to find a way home to his family. His wife, Jenny, never took Andy’s warnings about a potential oil crisis seriously but now, as she tries to reach her children, his words come back to her with terrifying clarity.
   Teenager Leona is desperately trying to keep her younger brother safe, until her parents return. But events are spiraling out of control with food riots, looting, rape and worse.  

Then Andy realizes there is a plan behind this apocalypse – someone is after him, or his family, for what he knows…

The world lies devastated after the massive oil crisis that was described in LAST LIGHT. Human society has more or less entirely broken down and millions lie dead of starvation and disease. There are only one or two beacon communities that have managed to fashion a new way of living. Jenny Sutherland runs one of these groups. Based on a series of decaying offshore oil-rigs - for safety - a few hundred people have rebuilt a semblance of normality in this otherwise dead world. But as her and her people start to explore their surroundings once again, they start to realise not every survivor has the same vision of a better future than their catastrophic past. There are people out there who would take everything they have. War is coming, and the stakes are truly massive... 

Oh hell. Since I read these, let's just say that I've developed a bit of paranoia. Not enough to have me start stockpiling canned food and powdered milk or anything, but enough to make me keep more of an eye out on the news for words like 'Peak Oil", and start to ponder the idea of moving out of Suburbia.

Then I remember that I have several friends who already grow their own food, live out in the country, and would be more than willing to let my family camp on their land, in exchange for help with hunting/gathering, and I realize that I'm not so bad off.

Not to mention that - being in Canada - there's a lot of empty space around us for post-apocalyptic survivors to escape to, a lot of wildlife to hunt, and communities that still know their neighbours well enough to live companionably together should the shit hit the fan...


Anyway, now that I got that off of my mind, I can focus on what I thought of the story itself, and not just focus on the 'what if' scenarios.

Though sobering, both books were quite entertaining too - with identifiable characters, realistic scenarios, and good writing throughout. There were some parts that had me shaking in fear or anger, but I felt that they were elemental to the story, and not just tossed in for the sheer horror of it. (Though, those of you who have children - especially young girls - may want to skip this series for just that fact)

I gave both books 4 out of 5 stars, which is on par with most reviews I've seen on

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to search MLS listings for houses that are located out in the boonies, with a fair piece of farmland, a spring fed lake, and a windmill...

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