The Blast by Sarah Perlmutter
Genre: Young Adult, Apocalypse, Dystopia, Science-Fiction
Publishing Info: Self-published, Amazon Kindle edition
Star Rating: 4.5/5
Back Cover Summary:
After a series of blasts force Beatrice Hicks and her family into their prepper bunker, they emerge to discover they are among the survivors of a nuclear apocalypse. Fighting against rogue groups and coping with deaths are just some of the adjustments Beatrice must make to survive, but how will she maintain her humanity after the blast?
The Blast is a self-published novel by Sarah Perlmutter which shows a family’s attempt to survive the apocalypse. I’ve read a lot of books about what happens when society has been rebuilt after an apocalypse, but not one which is actually set at the time the apocalypse happens, so this was an interesting new read for me. I found it really refreshing to read and it is written very well, in a style which pulls you in.
The plot is somewhat typical of an apocalypse story – it is about survival. But what makes it great is the way the characters are handled and how they change and develop through the course of the novel. There was plenty of action and lots of unexpected turns which kept me glued to the page. It is quite short, more of a novella than a novel, but I like that. I think a lot of the time authors force stories into a novel length when there isn’t enough substance to make it that long. I think the length of The Blast is right for the content which is great.
The narrator, Beatrice, is forced to grow up before she has much chance to be a child. Her characterisation is great and her inner conflicts are shown really well. Over the course of the book she changes an awful lot as a character. Importantly, she isn’t without flaws, and is a really rounded, well thought-out character. The main characters are equally well depicted and they are all likable. There are many emotional and tragic moments made more so by the attachment one feels for the characters. However, it would have been good to see more development of the minor characters, particularly Mr and Mrs Becker and Mr and Mrs Smith. It felt like they were just shadows in the background. Just one scene with them would have allowed the reader to gain a better picture of them.
Overall I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves apocalypse and dystopian stories. But I also think people who don’t usually go for the genre would like it, as the topic and issues are dealt with so well. I gave it 4.5 stars, as is wasn’t quite perfect for me (though I am quite hard to please), but it was a really awesome book which I urge you to read.