Monday, June 13, 2011

Breakdown by Katherine Amt Hanna

Six years after a pandemic devastates the human population and unstoppable computer viruses have destroyed much of the world’s technology, Chris Price finally makes it from New York to Britain to reunite with his brother. But the horrors he’s witnessed and unresolved grief over his dead wife and baby have changed him. Can he let go of his past, unlock his heart, and learn to find love again?

I have a weak spot for post-apocalyptic novels, so when I was offered a free review copy for this book, I jumped at it. I was not disappointed.

What makes this particular book work so well is the pacing. The readers are thrown into the remnant of a world we vaguely recognize, but we don’t know all the facts.
We know a plague caused all the damage, but we don’t really know what that means. Slowly, through the main character’s (Chris) recollections, we begin to get a sense of how wrong things actually became. That feeling of not quite having all the information creates a great unease that propels the reader to turn the pages.

More than the actual plague and everything that comes after it, what draws the reader is the character development and the very familiar relationships. We see Chris beginning as a haunted man, a shadow of a real human, and we see Pauline, a sensitive person who does her best to keep things together throughout the chaos, evolving and growing closer, healing each other.

The writing was spotless and engaging, the author’s voice fresh yet with a bit of bite. I had a hard time putting the story down after I began to see all the connecting threads that guide us, and Chris, to the end.
Highly recommend it.

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