Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What would you do if You Woke One Day to find your life had Completely Changed?

Review of Daimones by Massimo Marino

That’s exactly what happens to Dan, his wife Mary, and their daughter Annah, in this debut novel by Massimo Marino.  This book gives the reader a different view of the apocalypse.
Dan and his family had the almost-perfect life in the French countryside until a mysterious windstorm in February.  Nobody realized that anything unusual had happened until it was time to drive Annah to school.  Vehicles of every type littered the highway, their dead drivers still behind the wheel.  Dan decided to return home and instructed Mary to stay put instead of going to her teaching job.  No one was answering the phone at any of the emergency departments.  The family didn’t know what happened, so decided to go check on their friends next door only to find more death.
Once they discovered that they were the only survivors of some catastrophe, Dan decided it was best to stock up on emergency supplies.  Therefore, instead of looking for a new job, which was the plan, he went to the mall and began to collect food, medical supplies and other things the family may need, not knowing what was coming later.
Luckily the internet still worked, so Dan decided to launch a massive campaign to find any other survivors in hopes of learning more about what they were facing.  While they waited for a response, not expecting any, they continued to collect supplies, even going as far as befriending some neighborhood dogs and arming themselves with survival gear.
At first, it was hard to simply go into the stores and take things without paying for them, but of course, there was no one to pay.  The whole world had become a ghost town.  After awhile that got easier and Dan even allowed himself a few luxuries, as well as the needed supplies.
At home, to keep a sense of normalcy, they went by the calendar and home-schooled Annah.  After school and on weekends they trained the dogs and practiced shooting with the arsenal Dan had gathered.  Everyone tried to stay busy.
However, more changes came as the months went by and their lives took some turns that even they could not have ever predicted in their wildest dreams.  Yet, now, it was a case of survival and adapting to what came their way.
The down-to-earth writing style of this story makes it an enjoyable read, with a bit of humor as Dan contemplates things along the way and even scolds himself for some of his thoughts when they turn morbid.  The characters are real as they face their challenges; the descriptions of the countryside and Geneva are beautiful, bringing the reader into the story to hear the birds chirping, see the blue sky and witness nature taking back the towns and villages.
The conclusion is surprising, giving the reader lots to ponder.  In fact, it is so much information that I had to read it twice in places and think, perhaps, this could have been broken up into smaller increments making it easier to take in.  The ending brings some closure about the catastrophe to this family, but also lays a heavy burden and responsibility on Dan.
The entertainment value of this story deserves five stars, but I’m giving it four only because there are a few editing issues.

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