Book Chat: Dead Reckoning
by Tom Wright
When a deadly plague hits the world, Matt will do anything to reach his family back in the states.
MYRA’S HORROR BLOG REVIEWS : I wanted to write reviews as if I were sharing the love of a book with a friend. What I liked about it, from storyline to characters; to include any parts that had a negative impact on me as a reader. Join me on the couch as we explore today’s exciting read.
Civilization is descending into chaos: A deadly plague engineered by terrorists, international wars, and mankind’s innate depravity are about to take the world to the brink.
Those are the last things Matt Anderssen, a scientist stationed at a Top Secret missile test site on a remote Pacific island, knew before all contact with the outside world suddenly stopped. Stranded on the idyllic tropical island that was his home and cut off from his wife and children by five thousand miles of ocean, Matt elicits the help of two loyal friends. Together, they defy the law and set out across the Pacific Ocean to reunite with their loved ones—if they’re still alive, if anyone is still alive.
High seas, pirates, storms, and terrible luck will test them physically, and hopelessness, anger, and self-doubt will test them emotionally. But against all odds and with the help of a woman they rescue along the way, they will make it to the mainland—and what they find there will be their ultimate test
Matt is stationed in the Marshall Islands, an isolated area between Hawaii and Australia. It’s bad enough when a hurricane batters their shores, but then the people living there hear a deadly plague is sweeping through the world. Matt is determined to reach his family in the U.S. and sets off on a perilous journey across the ocean with friends on a sailboat.
The group run across men on another ship who have kidnapped a woman. They rescue Jill, who is a doctor, a very valuable person in the new world. Near an island off Alaska, they are welcomed by a community who lived off the grid even before things went down. This was an interesting part of the story, showing how modern people adapted to the circumstances.
Matt does find his children, but they are almost feral and his wife is dying. Matt goes after the savage men who abused his wife and daughter and I applauded his courage in this act of vengeance. With his children and friends, Matt seeks out his old friend Sean, who he knows has a secure place in Washington State. Once they do find Sean, they are invited into a compound that is safe and run by military men. I really liked the end of the book where people returned to simpler times; kids play outside, no cell phones, not internet, etc.
Several of the characters were interesting, including Jill and Jeff. I like to love or hate characters in a story. There were plenty of rapists and thugs to hate, but unfortunately no character won my heart. Usually this is reserved for the main hero/heroine, but Matt was too much of a rabbit throughout much of the story. Near the end, when his parenting protectiveness kicked in, he was great, but by then I could only feel lukewarm toward him.
This is a well written book and has some rich descriptions of people and places. There were quite a few negatives for me though. The many details about weather had me skipping pages and the description about the ship had my mind wandering. Mostly, it was the philosophical discussions; everything from politics to evolution, heaven, God and hell. I actually love it when characters indulge in a little of their outlook on life, it makes them human and gives me insight into their character. But it was way too much for this reader.
NOTE: All my reviews are published in Uncaged Book Reviews emag. This review will be in the November issue.