My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A well-done post-apocalyptic tale set in Wales featuring young adult protagonists.
Brothers Alex and Jason Carhill were several months into a planned year-long world tour traveling from their native Australia when troubles between the US and Russia suddenly erupted. Due to the volatility of the political situation, they decided to cut their trip short when they arrived in London, both to let things settle down and to see the city sights while they waited it out. The boys had lived in London when they were small and were ready to discover the places of their childhoods. However, neither the US nor Russia were backing down from hardline ultimatums, and the world’s citizens were holding their collective breaths as the two angry superpowers appeared headed toward a final showdown.The London population began to panic, prepared for the worse, hoarding supplies and clogging all roads out of the city. But just as suddenly, the crisis appeared to have been averted, and the boys decided to hire a car and drive west to tour Devon and Cornwall. After several days on the road, a single emergency warning came that Russia had launched a large number of missiles, some of which were headed to Great Britain. But before the brothers could even seek shelter, the world around them exploded with brilliant white light and searing heat.
When Alex came to, he was in an underground shelter, and Jason was missing, taken to a nearby hospital to treat the injuries he’d received when the car they’d been in had been destroyed. The world was dark, the wind was howling, and a nuclear winter was upon them. Radiation fall-out made leaving to search for his brother impossible. He was alone with random strangers, many of whom were already showing the signs of radiation poisoning but safe, at least for the moment.As soon as radiation levels dropped enough, Alex and others from the shelter (an old church basement) were sent out to search for additional survivors, supplies, government assistance, and Alex’s brother. But when they found instead was sheer chaos and a world quickly returning to savagery.
Nuclear Midnight is the first book in author Robert Cole’s post-apocalyptic series, Savage Dawn. The story follows the survival journey of young Alex Carhill and the comrades he acquires as he searches for safety, food, and a community of survivors looking to rebuild their world. It is an exciting and action-filled story with, literally, never a dull moment. The danger felt plausible and real, and because I quickly became engaged in Alex’s survival, I never wanted to put the book down. The setting in Wales was a new one for me, so I found that extra interesting and fresh. The storyline includes some great battle sequences that, although conveying the panic and confusion inherent in war, were still easy to follow and understand. These scenes were exceeding well done. If I had a complaint, it would be that the story had a somewhat abrupt ending. However, with the next book in the series on the Savage Dawn horizon, the wait to find out what happened next isn’t too long.I recommend Nuclear Midnight to readers that enjoy post-apocalyptic tales featuring young adult protagonists, especially those set in Great Britain.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.
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