Sunday, May 5, 2019

When the Power is Gone

When the Power Is Gone (A Powerless World #1)When the Power Is Gone by P.A. Glaspy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The writing is mediocre, but the story is intriguing and the survival tips are interesting.

I had two major issues with the book that would have been dealbreakers if this were any lesser of a story:

1. The characters lack unique voices. All of the men sound like the same person. I really can't tell the difference between Bob, Bryan, Bill (is there a Bill?), Ryan, and so on. One might say this is simply because there's a huge cast of characters, but this was a problem for me even in the beginning of the novel, when there was only five. The only male characters who stand out as individuals are Russ (due to him being the group's leader) and Mike, due to the author giving him more 'screen time'.
2. The lack of water in the town is never addressed. This is a huge problem. The water turns off fairly early in the novel, and while the human body can survive weeks without food, it's only got about 3 days without water. Glaspy portrays scavengers and marauders who are ransacking homes looking for food and weapons, even attacking others on the street to steal their wagons of supplies; why aren't they searching for water? Or those bad guys who were blocking the interstate and were willing to accept women as a toll payment. Um, no. There's no way they'd be stationed on the interstate or even thinking about sex. They'd be desperately hiking to a stream, river, or lake. The whole town would be dehydrated by this point of the novel. It's like the author totally forgot that running water no longer exists, an unfortunate oversight that almost ruins the experience of the novel for me.

Smaller Issues: The narration was all over the place. One second it's first-person narration and we're in Anne's head, the next second we jump into third-person omniscient narration where we're in "anyone's" head. It's disjointed and scattered. Glaspy would have been better off to choose third person omniscient narration for the entire book. Furthermore, I found the dialogue amongst the men frequently corny and forced. I also thought it was a little unrealistic to demand that the family brush their teeth three times a day in a survival situation. When water is scarce, once a day (tops) is more realistic, especially considering sugary foods are no longer on the menu. Also, in these kinds of stories, I find it a little too convenient when the main characters have access to an amazing farm that happens to have everything they need to not only make life livable again, but to also make you forget there even was an EMP in the first place. This is not very relatable to all of us average Joes out there who (even if we're small scale preppers) will never have such a fabulous advantage. This is why I enjoy books such as One Second After, in which readers get to see what survival looks like from the perspective of characters like you and me who don't have back-up farms up their sleeves with unlimited water, solar panels, etc.

Despite the novel's shortcomings, I found this to be an enjoyable novel and an easy read. I enjoyed Anne's tough-ass character, and overall appreciate the author's no nonsense attitude about people who leech from the system. And added bonus: Glaspy officially convinced me to up my disaster preparations a notch. (Though I'm still crying because I don't have a farm). I've already started the next book in the series and look forward to see what's in store for all of the survivors. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!