When Adam’s civilization falls, there’s no zombie plague or nuclear war—a computer virus destroys modern technology, and people do the rest.
With no warning, all computers and cellphones shut off, cars die in the streets, and anything with a computer in it refuses to turn on. Adam checks in with his neighbor and family friend, Herb, a retired bachelor whose career involved top-secret work in foreign countries. Paranoid Herb straightaway works to maneuver Adam and his family so they are supplied and protected. Adam’s family isn’t helpless—his police-captain mother organizes patrols and keeps the situation from falling to complete chaos, taking Herb’s counsel on the extraordinary circumstances. Soon, their neighborhood has to restructure and wall itself off to survive, especially against organized, heavily armed raiders. Reticent Adam, who frequently witnesses the adults’ closed-door proceedings, often gets lost in his silence, and Herb consistently steals the show. Otherwise, Adam and Herb make a good team, pairing youthful hope with calculating cynicism. Many of the most exciting moments involve student-pilot Adam’s homemade ultralight plane—noncomputerized and therefore still functional. The prose can be clunky, reading at times like a survivalist instruction manual disguised as dialogue—but the detailed content is more than worth it, capturing the nitty-gritty of rebuilding—and defending—civilization.
Perfect for aspiring doomsday preppers and survivalists. (Adventure. 12 & up)