Friday, 20 May 2016

Book Review: Flare by Paul Grzegorzek

Malcolm King is a journalist living in trendy Hove on the south coast of England. His days are taken up with video meetings and research on the internet while he writes articles for magazines around the world.

When a solar flare  hits the Earth, effectively hurling us back to the stone age in a matter of hours, Malc is thrust into a terrifying new world as he travels the length of the country to find his young daughter. Society, a fragile construct at best, shatters as the survivors fight each other for food and water, neighbour killing neighbour as fires rage through the cities, destroying much of what's left.

Faced with difficult choices, Malc draws his strength from those around him; Emily, a tough, no-nonsense soldier with a soft spot for lost causes and Jerry, a disgraced astrophysicist who may be the only person left who understands what's happening with the sun. With their help, he must struggle to answer the ultimate question. What won't he do to get his daughter back?

My Review: 
I got annoyed with the MC from the very start of the book with his bleeding heart preaching about how those who took part in the London riots are victims of society which is utter rubbish. A lot of those charged after the riots were from rich families so explain to me why they needed to be stealing TV's or anything else? People who use any flimsy excuse to go out looting, assaulting, destroying property, setting fire to property and endangering lives are not victims to be pitied, they are criminal thugs who need locking up. If they were stealing food because of being in extreme poverty, I could understand that, but looting for electrical gadgets is about greed, not survival. The MC also bleats about them being led astray against their will and being poor little lambs, and it just infuriated me.

The victims of the riots were those who lost their homes and businesses, those who were jumping for their lives from burning buildings that some sod set alight 'for fun', those who were assaulted and robbed, those whose businesses were looted and destroyed. They are the real victims. So I was already disliking the tone of the book after the first few pages as Malc gleefully writes his social comment newspaper piece which he believes will elevate him to stardom. Gag.

Malc, the MC, is a journalist who is self obsessed and thinks he is the next great thing. He believes that he knows best about everything, he is right and everyone who disagrees is wrong, and only his opinion matters. I found him arrogant and rude, mocking Jerry constantly and being a total arse. He is a dreadful man and I didn't care what happened to him when the solar flare hits. I bet he changes his mind about criminals when he has to face them on his journey and that will wipe the smugness out of him. Sadly I never found out. The thought of putting up with this idiot on a road trip did not appeal so I gave up quickly.
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