Thursday, 4 August 2016

Book Review: Sheltered by Quent Cordair

A year and six days underground without sunlight or breeze or contact with the world above—whatever might be left of the world above. A year and six days without touch, without unrecorded voice, without contact, without friends or family. If only they had listened, if only they had been ready. But he—he had prepared. He was Reginald B. Wakefield, and he hadn’t died. A wave of vindication washed over him, lifting and sweeping away all doubt and fear. He had been right. He raised his eyes again to the hatch cover above. . . . He had been right.

In “Sheltered,” the timely and popular short story by Quent Cordair, a man follows his own course in response to fears of impending disaster and societal breakdown. 

My Review:
For a year and six days, a man has been locked inside a nuclear bunker in his garden. He had been working inside the shelter when the blast was seen on the horizon and he has been here alone without his wife and kids for over a year. Now he thinks it might be safe to open the door and see if anything is left of the world he knew.

The book takes place inside the shelter as Reginald starts to run out of food and fuel and conditions inside are getting grim. He thinks back to events before the blast when he was starting to build the shelter and prep for the worst while his own family thought he was crazy. He remembers how determined he was to hide the secret from the neighbours so he wasn't forced to take them in in case of disaster. He thinks about the decision to build it himself so that no builders knew what the shelter was, and the way the project caused him to drift apart from his family.

We get flashbacks to show how Reginald developed his project, showing his fights with his son who wants to tell friends about the shelter, and his wife who has no interest in going into the shelter to test it out. He gradually becomes obsessed with the project and the family dynamic starts to slowly break down. There are also flashes forward to the lonely Reginald realising that he didn't build it well enough and being convinced that his family are dead. With his health getting worse is it safe to go back outside?

I enjoyed reading the book and seeing how the threat of the end of the world affected one normal man and his family. The book was entertaining and I LOVED the ending so much! I did guess what was happening but it did not spoil my enjoyment of this short story and it was so well written. It goes through how a new prepper might go about things but there are lessons to learn here about how NOT to go about things. It has a good mixture of prepping and humour.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good apocalypse story.
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