Sunday, October 29, 2017

The After War

The After War by Brandon Zenner
Brandon Zenner: 6/30/17
eBook review copy; 444 pages
ISBN-13: 9780692907627

The After War by Brandon Zenner is a two part post-apocalyptic tale and military dystopian survivalist novel. It is recommended for the right reader.

It has been two years since the known world fell apart. We aren't given a whole lot of details but apparently there was a devastating world-wide war and what seems to have been a biological weaponized plague released simultaneously that wiped out most of civilization, leaving just a few hardened survivors. Brian and Steven have been safe and secure for two years in an underground bunker prepared before the war hit. Their Uncle Al, Lieutenant General Albert Driscoll, was privy to inside information and made sure the two young men and Steven’s sister, Bethany, were safe. The cousins were given specific instructions and a map by Uncle Al. They were to leave the bunker after two years, travel to get Bethany, who is secured in another bunker, and then head to Alice, the designated meeting spot.

Simon Kalispell and his dog Winston were able to survive the war and plague by staying in a cabin in British Columbia. Simon has had naturalist/wilderness survival training so he has the knowledge base to endure the two years in the wild. Simon, the son of extremely wealthy parents was sent to the cabin in a well-equipped van to ride out the two years seclusion. Now he is also heading back east to meet his parents at the family mansion.

In the first part, chapters alternate between the actions of two groups, Brian and Steve, and Simon and Winston. The novel follows their treks and travails to get to Alice. Every chapter seems to end in a cliff hanger, which did become tiring after the first few times, but this is the kind of novel that requires you to just roll with it. Part two deals with the organized groups that are remaining and fighting in this now dystopian world.

Reviewing a book like The After War requires me to set aside a few preferences. The main event and the reason you'll be reading this is for the action, narrow escapes, and grim events that will assuredly be occurring. You will have to suspend your disbelief on more than one occasion. It is obvious here that you need to be wealthy or come from a wealthy family in order to survive the end of civilization. Those of you who think this scenario is coming might want to take note and work on your investment portfolios. There isn't great character development here or keen insights into anything. The dialogue is stilted and unnatural.

However, if you choose to read this novel it will be for the action, not the character development, finely drawn plot, or incredible dialogue. Zenner definitely provides the action. This is a perfect airplane book. It will hold your attention but you won't cry if you lose it or misplace it.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.

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