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Directive 51 (A Novel of Daybreak) Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I was really looking forward to reading Directive 51 after it was mentioned in the Atlantic's article re: cyberwarfare. I'm a sucker for end-of-the-world scenarios and I'm usually profoundly disappointed with their execution (2012, I'm looking at you). This book, sad to say, was no different.
The premise is interesting and had real potential for making a gripping novel about the end of the modern era and how people would cope with a disaster that wiped out everything we relied upon for the functioning of our society. Unfortunately, the characters you have access to are emerge relatively unscathed from the disaster and you are therefore not really exposed to the breadth and depth of the horror.
The book focuses almost exclusively on the members of the federal government charged with forecasting future threats, who then become the heads of state when the disaster takes hold. As such, they aren't really affected by the loss of power, of food, of clean water, of all modern conveniences. The book references entire cities burning to the ground, millions dying of starvation during the winter, thousands freezing to death while fleeing cities... but those events are presented when the main characters present "reports from the field" to other members of the government. You get no on-the-ground experiences of what it's like for people actually living through the event. The members of the government are cloistered in protected compounds with supplies of power, food and water. You're totally detached from the "reality" of the situation for 99.999% of the Earth's population and, as such, it's snooze-ville for disaster enthusiasts.
In addition, the plot itself suffers from a lot of weak spots.Read more ›
Despite the flaws, I found it an enjoyable (albeit scary) read precisely because of the ideas.
The way the apocalypse happens is well thought out, and reasonable. The group that spawns disaster is not a major player in this book; but the hints of what and how it managed to do this are well done.
A lot goes on behind the scenes in getting the government folks who dominate this book up to speed on what Daybreak used to start the disaster and how they can keep something running (for a while), but the focus of this is how a real directive could play out in a real crisis.
Yet I admit I could not put this down and read it in two days. But that's because you can skim it. There is little in the way of substance.
There are moments where it is interesting enough to keep you hooked. But no follow through. Then too much drama. I was ready for the resolution to begin when the EMP thing came up. Just too much. Start to resolve things already.
With Graham as the 50th President, and it is 2024, I got distracted by how many Presidents there were and noticed that the author made sure Obama was not re-elected in 2012 (must have been if Graham was the 49th President, 50th is you can Shuansten, or whatever his name was).
Unmemorable characters. Did not care about any of them or what happened to them or even what happened to the world. So much disaster you'd think that to write this, you'd have to really hate the world and especially the US.
The whole word was attacked and disposed of, except Australia, totally forgotten - until the last few pages when the silly EMP destroyed radio in Perth. But the author forgot about that continent before that, and so modern civilization would still have survived there.
The high points were some interesting points about the Constitution and the secession. Only Democrats handled it, and badly, of course. I would have been more interested in President Norcross, who inexplicably became all perfect and dropped his right wing Christian nation stuff. I thought it would have been more interesting had had been allowed to remain President and then turned out to be that Jesus freak after all - trying to impose a theocracy. Oh well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Started out good but all in all to much american specific constitution talkPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I just finished the Daybreak series, and my opinion, for what it's worth, is that it was excellent. Thoroughly engrossing, complex, interesting, and fundamentally awesome. Read morePublished 5 months ago by EcoBerto
I would not have bought this book had I known it was a series. It is tedious although the plot itself is good. Read morePublished 5 months ago by steam
Someone watched a shitty WB series that was canceled after the first season and wrote a book about it.Published 13 months ago by Q.Sexton
I liked this well enough to get the next 2 books in the series.Published 15 months ago by Raymond Zdan