Wednesday, March 28, 2012

REVIEW: Dead Grid by David C. Waldron

Description: In the wake of a solar event, the likes of which hasn't been seen since 1859 when the height of technology was the telegraph, the northern hemisphere is faced with a new reality...a life without power. The electrical grids of virtually the entire planet have shorted out as a result of expected but completely unplanned for sunspot activity during the peak of the current solar cycle.

Joel Turner and his family, along with a few close trusted friends, have to decide how and even if they can survive in their suburban Nashville neighborhood as things deteriorate within a matter of days with no electricity. Once they decide to strike out on their own, the only question that remains is where? Through the recent prior military service of Eric Tripp, one of the small group to leave the neighborhood, they are allowed to attach themselves to the local National Guard Unit until they decide where they are headed.

With the power out and no communication with higher authority the Guard is on its own, and downtown Nashville is becoming a less safe place to be. The entire Armory, group and all, relocates to Natchez Trace State Park to set up operations for the duration of the crisis…however long that may be.

My Thoughts: Waldron clearly knows his stuff. The plot was strong and interesting (I'm morbid; I love learning of new ways that the world can end), and the research is integrated without becoming overwhelming or show-offy. That being said...

I did not enjoy this one. At all. I was willing to cut it a certain amount of slack at first, because most of the early issues appeared to be line-editing. (I don't begrudge self-published titles for mistakes commonly seen in traditionally published books as well. It's just not fair.) But the deeper we got in, the more I realized...I just didn't like these people. Part of the joy of dystopian fiction is smashing the world to pieces, but I have an issue when the characters themselves appear to be enjoying it. At one point early in the book, a character actually laughs as he slams the door in a pushy neighbor's face. LOL, DON'T YOU GET IT, IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE!!! A real knee-slapper, that one.

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