on September 7, 2011
Oh so many books to read, so little time. I've read, to date, about 60 post-apocalyptic novels. I've enjoyed a great many of them - some of them were so badly edited I almost had to give up the effort.
But with Wayne Wightman's novel Selection Event that was not the case. This book is so engrossing that, I think even if the editing was horrible, I would still have been captivated by it. The characters are so rich and full you almost feel like they are someone you've known all your life.
Haven't you wished on occasion that you could just go underground by yourself for a year - not have to make anyone happy, not have to wake up a child (or husband/wife) that doesn't want to get up to face the day, not have to make any decisions for anyone other than yourself - oh, how tempting it sounds. So when Martin Lake came up from his below-ground home of more than 14 months I was hooked. I had to stick around to see how he handled that much aloneness and what would happen when he finds out he's still going to be pretty much alone - at least for a little while. Who knows, maybe someday...?
There are dozens of surprises in this book - starting with the giraffe; then the dog that waits patiently for his masters to come get him, or to give him water and food. You heart will almost break for this little pooch - until you realize that some things do work out right; also, the hippie on the motorcycle that becomes a devoted friend to Martin. I think I could have fallen in love with him - he has so much heart.
I'm not going to give away everything - you have to read the book for that. And believe me you won't be disappointed. I've only just discovered Mr. Wightman but I've already read Selection Event and Hunger and Thirst, which I also loved. But, I'll leave that one for you to discover on your own. My advice - don't miss either one of them because they are among the very best of the genre.
on October 31, 2011
A decent story that could have been great with the inclusion of one Christian who didn't violently force feed their religion to others and the inclusion of one meat eating human who didn't violently force feed their beliefs on others. It's fine to have Christian antagonist. It's fine to have vegan protagonist. But when all of your Christians are evil and all of your vegans are heroes and the converse then you are insulting the reader by assuming they won't get your point otherwise. When you do this in a story strongly centered on how bad intolerance can be then you; the author; end up becoming an ironic image of your own arch villain.
on January 10, 2012
The book started with so much promise, i loved the first few chapters but as the story developed so did the political and religious views of the author.
What a drag it was, he just interupts the flow of the story with some childish attack on religion or political bias, i could care less about either but if a book has either let it develop properly into the plot with a informed and educated judgement,some great post apocalyptic classics such as "Swan Song" or "Lucifers hammer" handled it perfectly by entwining religion and good vs bad aspects, this Selection event just annoyed me so much i was jumping chapters and then of course the diaspointment sets in!
Well i truly beleive this story could have made 4 or 5 stars but i reakon the authors own self serving opinions pretty well killed the story, its like the book "Patriots"(written by some nutjob called james wesley rawles) but in a reverse aspect!
I do love the dog and cat in the story so they get a star!!
on September 25, 2011
I enjoyed this story, for what it was. Placing myself in the midst of what Martin had to deal with, by coming up out of his underground bunker to deal with a mass depopulation, I'm sure it would be a shocking change of mindset for anyone.
Nevertheless, I felt the characters could have been presented as "stronger", especially for Martin. How many times does a person have to be threatened for their life before they realize they need to "cowboy up" and start being a lot more cautious and straightforward in dealing with the left over dirt bags of the world? Naivety is one thing, being completely complacent towards threatening words and actions is another.
Although the author brings Martin around to defending himself and those he is involved with, the author doesn't maintain Martin with a defensive mindset. It seemed to me the author was more concerned about Martin wanting to befriend the remaining survivors, wherever/whoever they may be. I can understand not wanting to be alone and desiring to seek out 'others', however, there doesn't seem to be any discretion in doing so. If someone appeared or showed themselves, it was a good day and no other concerns were attributed to that appearance until later on.
After having to deal with Cortiz, the author eventually brings Martin and his companions to meeting Joshua and his off the wall group. You would think that Martin would have used more caution after dealing with Cortiz, but no, the author portrays Martin once again as naive, although mistrusting. Even so, how many times are you going to give a proven screwball a chance to take you out? Winch had the right mindset all along. But once again, the author changed Martin's mindset...after portraying him as a meek "I'd like to be your friend and live happily ever after" type of character. Martin finally has enough, after loss and sadness, and kicks butt...way too late.
I found myself wanting to shake Martin out of his carefree attitude and wanting to tell him he's being too accepting in a world that has proven it's hostility towards him and his followers. In a world portrayed by the author, trust of others would/should not be foremost in someone's mind. I would expect to earn that trust, just as others would have to gain my trust in them before accepting them as friendly and worthy.
I have to agree with several other reviewers that; the Diaz character did not add to the main storyline at all. It would have been much better for Diaz to have returned after his escapades to join the group, however, disappointingly, he didn't make it back.
on August 7, 2012
Selection Event is an interesting look at the aftermath of a virus that decimates the human race. There are no zombies or monsters, just a highly contagious disease that spares very few humans, and even fewer of the survivors are stable or trustworthy. When our protagonist Martin emerges from a year-long isolation study, he finds everyone he knew long gone, with only his half-starved family pet remaining to connect him to this new world. Predictably, among the few survivors are dangerous, power, drug or religion crazed people intent on controlling or harming Martin as he struggles to rebuild a life worth living. There are moments of very good writing in this story, as well as moments sad and sobering, describing what is lost, what remains, and how trivial our current daily lives compare to this new world without humanity. I found this a compelling read, and only in retrospect, after reading other reviews, did I realize that most, if not all of the major bad guys are religious fanatics. However, I don't think this novel is a statement against religion as much as it is a statement against corrupt power, manipulation and greed. I found the survival scenarios facing the characters to be well thought out and believable, such as the realities of long term fuel and food viability, and the struggle to grow crops and hunt food. I found Martin to be a sympathetic and honorable man who is forced to adapt and evolve to protect the new family and community he struggles to build, and enjoyed the cast of interesting characters he collected on his journey, especially Diaz.
Martin Lake was part of an isolation experiment. He went underground and when he came up fourteen+ months later, most of the people on Earth have died from the Mongolian Influenza Virus.
What would you do in a similar situation? He heads to his childhood home, finds his almost starved dog Isha and starts planning his next steps.
I liked that part of the story was told from Isha's POV.
There are good guys, bad guys, women of both types, children, zoo animals, changing weather. I wish there could have been more on specifics of daily living rather than some of the political/religious rhetoric that was a fair amount of the book.
But, all things considered, this was a good snapshot look at a portion of California and TEOTWAWKI genre.
Oh, and I liked the cover art a lot.
on August 18, 2014
This is an enjoyable interpretation of the post apocalyptic genre. The protagonist is likable and the story proceeds at a good clip without getting too predictable.
Warning to religious readers: The writes is obviously non religious, or at least non Christian. Most of the religious Characters are not Christians either, rather some kind of god believers but mostly self centered, power hungry types using god as a metaphor for imposing their own morals. The only openly Christian character is a woman that in our world we would consider "Born Again" and in the book she comes across as fairly obtuse, judgmental and bigoted.
Amazingly, even without a worldwide pandemic a lot of Christians are like that today. I would think that once a good portion of humanity is gone, most people would become either more entrenched in their beliefs or start doubting their religion. So while this woman is despicable in the book for her actions, she is perfectly believable.
If your complaint is the lack of positive christian characters, I guess they all died or they were living elsewhere. Some of the survivors in the book must have been Christians before the pandemic, even if just statistically speaking, but being good people they either did not make a big deal out of it or figured that proselytizing or discriminating in a deserted world was not a priority. I would not blame them.
For other people such an event would be a great chance to start their own cult without much competition, and in fact we have at least one example of that. As far as I remember, that cult was not defined as Christian either.
Bottom line, for those readers that have to have a positive Christian character in any story where there is a negative one, this book may not be for you. If you are reading this on a computer, you have all the tools needed to write your own story and publish it. There are a lot of publishing houses that deal in that genre. Good luck.
For those that like a good book, you could do a lot worse than reading "Selection Event"
on February 11, 2012
What an amazing adventure! Thoroughly enjoyed it. I've read some of the reviews trashing this book (mainly for some of the 'non-Christian themes') written by obvious Christian people. But what we need to do is disengage our belief system and just enjoy the book for what it is, a bloody good read and a rollercoaster of an adventure. After such an event, I do believe that the Christians would actually bear a slight similarity to those displayed in the book. Certainly not using heroin or drugs to keep people under control, but they would definitely see themselves to be chosen by God for some such post apocalyptical reason. Therefore they would more than likely have a superiority complex in regard to those of non-Christian belief.
Anyway aside from the religious themes the book is very well written. I really enjoyed the sections where I was viewing the world through the eyes of the main character's dog, extremely well written. Look out for more books by this author.
on June 6, 2014
Usually books in the end-of-the-world genre start with an economic collapse or an EMP knocking out the power grid permanently or something like that. Selection Event starts with an event that could be just as probable, a viral pandemic wiping out all but 2 or 3 percent of the population of the globe. The main character hopes that the human species would change after such a catastrophic event and treasure human life more. I guess we will never change. Good story.
on May 16, 2015
It is such a breath of fresh air in this time of "self-publishing" to find an author who can play the English language like a finely tuned harp! Thank you Wayne!
The story in this book is well written and researched, the characters are so well developed that you almost feel as if you really do know them. Of all the recent Post-Apocalypse books I have read lately, this one, and it's characters, will remain close to my heart for a long time to come.