Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Read All About It: Under Vanishing Skies, by G.S. Fields

I've never read anything by G.S. Fields before, so I didn't really know what to expect when reading "Under Vanishing Skies", but the synopsis from Goodreads had me intrigued:

"Hell is different for everyone. For Aron Atherton, hell is a small tropical island with white sand beaches surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Trapped in Maldives after a massive solar event kills his family and nearly wipes out the human race, Aron plans to fish and drink until the apocalypse finally catches up with him. But when his best friend is murdered and he becomes the guardian of a ten year old boy, Aron’s plans fizzle away like the vanishing skies above him.

Drawn into a struggle that will decide who leaves the dying planet and who stays behind, Aron tries to escape the vortex of political corruption that has engulfed him. But when he uncovers a plot that threatens mankind’s last hope for survival, Aron must stay alive long enough to stop them."

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): I enjoyed it. 4 out of 5 stars. 

I am a fan of post-apocalyptic stories, mainly because they are stories of survival and of mankind banding together. This story fits that bill - a solar flare burns up major parts of the Earth's atmosphere making most of uninhabitable and there is only one known surviving colony on the Maldives. The main character, Aron Atherton, is an unlikely hero - his family is killed during the solar flare and he is content to just wait out his days until he can be reunited with them in Heaven. But, mostly against his will, he makes deep connections with some of the survivors and becomes invested in doing what he can to help those around him.  

Here's why I liked it:

  • I'm no scientist, but the descriptions of the post-apocalyptic world were believable. The oceans are running out of fish, so food is scarce. The weather is unstable due to changes in the Earth's atmosphere. 
  • There are pirates roaming around the islands who kill, steal, pillage. While mankind seems to pull together in the face of a major crisis, there are still those who will always look out for themselves and take advantage of the situation, and this also seemed authentic to me. 
  • Aron develops a deep bond with a 10-year-old boy named William. I won't mention the circumstances on how they become so close, as that might be a bit of a spoiler, but he comes to think of William as his own son eventually and I appreciated that relationship. 
  • The suspense in this story was amazing. There are some plot twists that I didn't see coming, and I'm usually pretty good at predicting what's going to happen next. So it was refreshing. 

Favorite Quote:

"Some say Fate is fickle. She isn't. She's a twisted, psychotic bitch. It was the only way to explain why nearly everyone on the planet was dead... everyone including my family... and I was out here fishing."

So, tell me, what are you reading? 
Have any book recommendations for me? 

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