Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Book Review: UK Dark-Am I a Prepper? by Chris Harris

“What would happen if…?”

Many people ask themselves the question, but how many do something about it? Tom lives in Birmingham, England with his family. After asking himself the question and researching what could happen, he decided it wouldn’t do any harm to be a little bit prepared and store some food and equipment. Just in case.

Years later he discovers the world is going to be hit by a massive Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun which will turn the whole planet dark. No Power, No Cars, No Electronics. Everything will stop working. He only has a few days to get all his family will need to survive on for years. Has he enough time? Who else can he help?

Follow Tom, his family and neighbours and friends as they struggle to survive and form a community that will protect them when everything around them is being destroyed. People want what they have, are they prepared to kill to protect it?

My Review:
Tom is a fan of zombie and apocalypse books which leads him to wonder what he would do to protect his family if disaster came. He and wife Becky decide to start prepping, so when Tom sees some disturbing things on the news, he knows he has less than a week before a huge solar flare changes their lives forever. The question is, who do you share the information with and will they believe you?

I liked Tom because he is a normal guy, living in the UK, who loves to read my favourite kinds of books and I could relate to him completely. When you read these prepper, EMP, solar flare and zombie books, you can't help putting yourself in those situations and wondering what you would do different. That is part of the fun and excitement of reading those genres. Tom starts to seriously think how he would protect his family if a disaster hit, especially when the UK does not allow homeowners to have guns.

One thing I love about prepper disaster books is following the person in their disaster preperations as they plan their food stockpile, home defence, weapons, strategy, power etc. They discuss the merits of staying at home or going to their caravan in Wales. They make lists and start to buy in the supplies they think they need. However, things soon turn manic when Tom finds out about a solar flare that will hit in under a week, and he and Becky rush to get as much as they can in the time they have left. Tom sees a man doing the same kind of mad shopping and realises that he and Jerry are both preppers. Jerry has information that they only have three days and with a day to go, Tom tries to tell his friends and family what is about to happen. It leaves you with the question of when to confide in your loved ones, whether they will believe you, and which of your neighbours to help. If you tell too many, everyone who didn't believe you will come begging for help later. If you tell nobody, are you condemning them to their fate?

When the disaster starts to unfold, Tom quickly tells his neighbours to stockpile what they can from nearby shops before things get too dangerous to go out, and the street becomes a community determined to work together for defence and supplies, aided by Jerry and Allan, a local policeman. The neighbours get organised based on their skills, share food, collect supplies and plan how to defend their street from unfriendly thieves. However, not everyone in the street prove to be team players, leading to a few surprising developments.

There is also the issue of the armed and dangerous raiders who are killing and raping their way through the neighbourhood, and pose a threat to our team's survival. It leads to the moral question of whether to just defend themselves or go on the offensive to stop the danger. There is also the question of whether to help those who come to ask for food at their barricades or whether to assist those on the street who aren't pulling their weight or who want to leave. It was interesting to see how the people all reacted to each new challenge.

So why only three stars? I'm not really sure. I liked it as a decent apocalypse read and it was great to see a book set in the UK. There aren't enough good books in the genre with UK characters and scenarios. It makes a nice change to see people who can't just buy a shed load of guns to solve all their defence issues. Gun use in this book is certainly limited and I liked seeing changes to the usual plot. For me, there was just something missing to take it from a decent read to something great but I'm not sure what! Nothing wrong with the book or writing so I probably would try more books by the author.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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