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Hell's Children: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller (This Dark Age Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 312 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The author uses excellent imagery and makes some fairly cogent observations about leadership (I say this as a retired field artilleryman with 30 years experience including a combat tour in Vietnam and 13 years overseas with command of troops from platoon to battalion.). On the other hand, I was sorely disappointed at Jack's major tactical blunder in failing to leave a guard by the vehicle when he and Lisa went inside the library.
In some respects, this novel reminded me of an updated "Lord of the Flies."
"Hell's Children" had a satisfying ending but with the possibility of a sequel.
I recommend this novel to the general reader as well as post-apocalyptic readers.
This a decent story, intended I think for the young adult market (I am 75). The story line has a common enough apocalyptic premise, with the twist that ALL adults are gone. So, a sort of Lord of the Flies might be expected. The story that emerges is a bit of a mixed bag with realistic (and interesting) characters that emerge with different orientations depending on their backgrounds and perhaps inborn personalities. There ae twists and turns but the strength of the story is not in being a cliffhanger.
The back stories of some of the characters are very important and engaging (and educational).
"Jack" is a normal/smart boy who was raised by loving, overly focused, survivalist parents. As a result he has knowledge and attitudes that are uncommon, but serve him well (but not perfectly) is the story's setting and circumstances. Jack is no bully but he knows martial arts, field survival skills, and most of all, firearms - particularly gun safety. His concept of the worth and use of guns is neither over nor underplayed. In this way, I believe the author stands virtually alone. Even past masters of firearms stories like Stephen Hunter (a terrific author), had not had this approach. But Jack is a kid, and emotions he can't control sometimes cause him to break his training. I learned a couple of things about gun safety from this read - you might as well.
"Lisa" is an above average girl, tall and strong and probably a bit smarter than Jack. She and her brother were family friends of Jack's and had exposure to some of the same ideas. Her time with Jack's mother is recounted where she questions the "why" of male physical superiority. In several extended discussions, Jack's Mom gives Lisa some great advise: train for strength and quickness and you can reduced that gap so that with luck you can prevail. Lisa does this to great eventual effect, but there comes a time when it's not quite enough and she wishes she had trained even harder.
Lisa is the "nester" while Jack is the "hunter" (testosterone you know), but she is tech savvy and gutsy, to say the least, and is ultimately the biggest stabilizing force.
Lastly, this story is a good essay on the behaviour of male and female very young adults, maybe no quite Lord of the Flies, but certainly believable and educational. I look forward to the sequel!
I really, REALLY liked this book. I like the post-apocalyptic genre in general, but Monk's book goes beyond that: It shows how normal kids cope with the death of pretty much everyone they rely on. The obvious answer is that some cope better than others; the story is in the how and the why. Not all of the issues are resolved by the end of the book, but I don't *want* them resolved yet. I'd rather leave that for the next book, or the one after that.
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