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Out of all the end-of-the-world type books that I’ve read, this one scared me the most by far.  Not because it was the most violent, gruesome or death filled, but because it was the most real.  Most of these books contain some fantastical characters, some huge, unimaginable nuclear disaster, or other elements that keep the story removed from reality.  In Forsthcen’s book, the only disaster is that the electricity goes out.  And society falls apart in a matter of days.

Forstchen intended his book to be a warning about EMP’s, which terrorists could use to silently destroy anything that has a computer chip in it–cell phones, cars, communications, computers, radios, planes, etc.  At times, it reads a bit stiff and preachy.  But over all, it was fast paced, exciting, frightening, and kept me awake at night for a week.

The Diamond of Darkhold: The Fourth Book of Ember (Books of Ember) The fourth in DuPrau’s Ember series.  I very much enjoyed the first book, The City of Ember.  I can’t remember much about the second two books.  In The Diamond of Darkhold, Lina and Doon are back, this time searching for a way to make life easier for the people of Sparks.  They come across an old book that seems to be leading them back underground, to the city of Ember, where they will find a treasure to bring back to their new city.  A great book until the last chapter.  There, DuPrau apparently wants to quickly wrap up this series, so she writes a nice neat fairy tale ending for everyone, while adding to a random subplot that is just weird.  If you read this book, just stop at Chapter 26 and you’ll enjoy it so much more!

World Made by Hand: A NovelThe industrialized world is done.  The population is decimated by climate change, epidemics and war, and the survivors are trying to carve a new life for themselves.  Robert and his fellow townspeople must come together if they are going to survive in this new world.  A good story with all the great elements of post-apocalyptic ficion.  I definitely don’t agree with Kunstler’s views of God as an uninvolved, uncaring deity.  Nonetheless, Kunstler does tell a good story.