Saturday, 23 January 2016

Book Review: Burn District prequel by Suzanne Jenkins

Laura and Mike Davis and their four children build an idyllic life with friends and family nearby in the beautiful Brandywine River Valley. Dreams and goals come to an abrupt end soon after Hurricane Sandy hits the east coast. Discovered in wood soaked by seawater, a virus thought to have the potential to decimate the population becomes the excuse to relocate thousands of citizens from beach towns. Fire is the only known way to eradicate the virus. 

Rumors spread that napalm is used to burn without evacuating the people. A neighbor warns Laura and Mike that their town is next as the destruction moves inland. Is it a drastic way to halt the spread of disease, or is there another catalyst? 

My Review:
A deadly virus on US soil is being contained by destroying entire parts of towns and cities-without evacuating uninfected civilians. When a neighbour with inside knowledge warns that their district will be next to burn, Mike starts preparing supplies for their escape. When Pete tells him it will happen in two hours, Mike, his wife and kids, his parents and his wife's friend flee for a cross country journey to relatives in Yuma.

This was a different disaster book from what I've read before. Mike's neighbour Pete is able to give them a warning that allows the family to flee, but the family can't risk warning other neighbours in case they are reported by snitches, as nobody trusts anyone in this climate of fear. Doctors are refusing to report infected cases for fear of condemning entire districts to death so the government have bugged every house to find out themselves who is sick and who is preparing to flee, or who is anti-government. Those who manage to escape burning areas are regarded as criminals so there is danger in fleeing but certain death if you stay. I liked the idea of this evil government behaviour, the aspect of everyone being spied on and the innocent being sacrificed. There were lots of tense moments in this short prequel.

I also liked the characters that we will be following. Mike's wife Laura is our main MC. She has 4 kids under 18, her oldest having Down Syndrome. I think having a bit of diversity in the story is going to add something interesting to the plot. There is also an interesting subplot in that Laura suspects that her husband Mike and her best friend Kelly are attracted to each other, something that is shared by Mike's father Randy. This could really be interesting in the middle of a survival story! Laura honey, I would not have let Kelly travel with me in these circumstances, I would have told her nothing and let the bitch burn!

This is a short prequel to introduce the characters and show why they fled and what the background to the story was. I am now really interested to see what happens on the journey to Yuma, how Laura deals with Mike and Kelly and juggles the needs of her kids. I grabbed the first book in the series and am looking forward to reading it soon!
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg


  1. Sounds like a pretty good story, glad it made you want to read on. Great review!

    1. I'm looking forward to continuing the story soon!