Publishing Date: September 2019
Publisher’s Description: After witnessing a meteor explode in the sky above his home the night before, Glen awakes to a loss of all communications and power. On route to a work assignment before dawn, Sara’s car veers into a roadside tree. Crawling from the vehicle to the ground, her last memory is the fragrance of dirt and Queen Anne’s Lace. Thirteen-year-old Traci opens her eyes to complete blackness. A wave of fear brings a shudder as she recalls falling asleep in the movie theater. Immediately groping for her phone, she wonders why her parents hadn’t picked her up.
Review: This started out pretty good, in a “The Truman Show” kind of way. All the characters seem to mesh fairly well in spite of their disparate and unfathomed backgrounds. Traci is a young teen that despises her parents (blah, blah, trope, trope) with Sunshine leading the charge as decisive and brilliant in an understated but feisty way. Early on in the novel, it gets a little uncomfortable when Glen begins to constantly kiss little Traci on the forehead/top of head/cheek. Repeatedly. Like this is somehow supposed to endear the reader to some perceived daddy/caring connection between them. Only it comes off contrived and creepy as hell.
I wanted to burn this novel what with this hastily formed unit that becomes this moral guidepost on the road to salvation (escape). Despite the familial perfection, I enjoyed the story line, even as it creeps towards “Westworld” and certain shows in the original Star Trek series (‘The Man Trap’, ‘Catspaw’, ‘The Gamersters of Triskelion’, etc.). Additionally there are some firearm fails, namely where they get the semi-automatic shotguns from the sexbots, er, androids and proceed to pump and “rack” shells into their chambers. Not possible or needed with a loaded semi-auto unless you want to eject live rounds.
I wasn’t enthralled with certain aspects of the novel but I had a good time and that’s talented writing right there.