fantasy—Luft’s SF takes readers on an exhilarating journey as the university students Danielle Proulx and her girlfriend Maisy find themselves struggling to survive in the midst of a blackout.
An international outbreak of Marburg traced to people travelling through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on December 21 is just the beginning of chaotic destruction of the world. When the provincial government passes a new law to repossess the properties of people who died without heirs, university students Danielle and Maisy are forced to leave Dani’s aunt’s place and escape to the States to stay with their former World of Warcraft guild leader and internet conspiracy radio host Wyvern in West Virginia. With deadly zombies attacking the people and hostile aliens threatening life on earth, the girls join hands with the local militia. But to defend the nation against the fast-approaching apocalyptic threats, they must form a new society and follow new rules.
The dystopian world that Luft creates is immensely bleak; a deadly viral pandemic is wreaking havoc all around the world; fungus-infected zombies are attacking people and spreading infection; the concept of the government working for the greater good of masses is lost in chaos; people are facing forced evacuation to fishy quarantine camps; civilians are facing abduction at the hands of the sinister PMC Blackfield; and a specialist corps of incarnates is trying to fight against a host of apocalyptic threats, including hostile aliens in secret military bases.
There is also emphasis on the wonders of magic and suddenly developed magical abilities. Luft fashions a narrative in which the action takes place center stage. It takes a while for the reader to get into the story which acquires intrigue way later (only after an array of apocalyptic threats invade Dani and the group’s lives). Readers will respond to the sympathy with which Luft reflects the tormenting lives of people struggling to survive in a world enveloped in chaos and ready to collapse.
Luft’s timely consideration of the relevant issue of race and class disparity and LGBTQ brims with empathy and understanding. Though Dani and her friends’ intriguing survival journey gets lost among the nitty gritty of too many individual interactions, the premise still holds interest. With Dani and the group’s resolve in the face of destruction, this science fiction tale becomes too real to take lightly.
Readers will look forward to the next installment.