Though this is another one of those teen books written about a future apocalypse which seem to be so popular, I had great hopes when I read the first line and realized that it was a quotation from a poem “The Hollow Men” by T. S. Eliot [See link below]
The poem is about people who have experienced war and it’s terrible aftermath. It is about how the images of blood and death leave survivors with no way to purge the memories that haunt them, no voice to explain their experiences to others, and a dread of what will happen to them after they die.
The book did not live up to the poem.
This book tells the story of how a man built a survival shelter for his family in the event of a nuclear war and what happened to them during the six years they were all inside it. Did the war actually happen? What will people do to survive? What boundaries will they cross?
It seemed to me that the author rushed the first part of the book in order to get the people inside the compound. Since I didn’t know the characters, it was difficult to care about the things that happened while they were inside. Several incidents were disturbing, however, and should have had the characters reacting a lot stronger than they did in order to be believable. The ending was handled in the same speedy manner as the beginning to quickly tie up loose ends and to (very obviously) leave a trail behind for a sequel to build upon.
Overall, it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but it certainly could have been better.