Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Free Falling by Susan Kiernan-Lewis

Free FallingTitle: Free Falling
Author: Susan Kiernan-Lewis
Publisher:   San Marco Press
Published: March 24 2012
Format: Kindle/e-book
Pages: 225
Source: Received from author in
exchange for an honest review
Read: August 16-18 2012
In A Few Words: Fast paced and family oriented
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

A fun family vacation turns into an apocalyptic nightmare in Free Falling when a couple and their young son find themselves trapped in the Irish countryside during an international crisis. With all contact outside the country gone, all electricity and all non horse-powered vehicles useless and desperate bands of outlaws roaming the Emerald Isle, the time has come for one soft American family to reach deep within for a reserve of brains and courage to survive.

Melissa's Musings:

The story starts out quickly with very little background. A couple and their young son arrive in Ireland for a family vacation. The first thing that goes wrong is that the place they were supposed to stay at, burned down. So instead of a quaint vacation cottage, they get a one room cottage. No big deal, they'll make the best of it. Shortly after their arrival as they're just starting to settle in, the event happens. An unknown terrorist group has detonated bombs over London and a nonnuclear missile hit Boston. The electromagnetic pulse from these bombs has cut off electric communications, forcing the family to survive on their own in a world without all the modern conveniences.

This is a very fast paced story. It starts out with a flash, quite literally and the pace just keeps going from there.

Usually, I'm the type of reader who likes the nitty gritty details, the backstory and all of that. Most of the time, I get disappointed if the story doesn't have that, but in this case, it worked well. It's not really necessary to have their backstory because it doesn't tie in (too much) with what's going in the rest of the book.

The resiliency and growth of this family was interesting to watch as the story progressed. As a person of the technology age, I don't think I would know how to do even half of the things the characters in this book end up having to do. They have to maintain a farm, slaughter animals, make butter from goats milk, weave without a loom. None of these things I even remotely know how to do nor do I think I would catch on half as quickly as they did.

I suppose that's the point of this novel though. It's purpose seems to be getting you to think about how you would react in a situation like this. Given no other choice I'm sure I would adapt somehow, just like these characters did. 

The character I enjoyed the most has to be Sarah. Before all of this she was an overstretched woman with a high powered job, who had to take anxiety meds to deal with her everyday life. At the end of all this she's a take charge, no nonsense, woman. Her growth and transformation was smooth, and relevant to the story, which I appreciated. 

John, the couple's young son did  a lot of growing up along the way too. And boy was he quick on his feet. I felt bad that he had to grow up so quickly under such circumstances, but the fact that he appreciated life and his family more after the whole experience means it was worth it. 

World crisis/disaster stories aren't a type of story I read very often, but I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this one. I'd recommend it to someone looking for an action packed adventure story.

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

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