For a while now I have been on a reading kick of dystopian or post-apocalyptic novels. I thought it might be a good idea to review a few of them focusing on the ones that contain useful information for survival situations.
Since I just finished reading the trio, I thought it a good idea to start with Deep Winter. Let me preface my review by saying I enjoyed the story quite a bit. I have several criticisms of the books, but overall I was drawn in and found myself reading the book even a few pages at a time when I had only a few minutes.
Thomas Sherry wrote a trilogy of books titled Deep Winter; the first- Deep Winter, the second- Shatter, the third- Remnant. The books deal with a family in a disaster scenario and how they survive. The series moves progressively through a family and its neighborhood surviving, to rebuilding a devastated county, then into some country-wide structuring. During the course of the story the protagonist and his family are put through a devastating earthquake, global pandemic, volcanic eruption, roving bands of criminals, economic collapse, rogue local and national politicians, global war, global nuclear war, and civil war. All of that and I may have missed a calamity, I'm not sure.
Some previous reviewers have found tedium in the minutia presented by the author, especially in the first book. Deep Winter is a book of survival instructions thinly veiled as a story. The author walks us through how to live during hard times mainly by focusing on the "things" needed to get along in life. He also presents some tactics for safety and defense as you try to go about your daily life without the standard infrastructure we have all become accustomed to. The main character relies on his family, his faith, his knowledge, and his vast array of "stuff" stored on his property to get him and his neighborhood and friends through the situations.
Shatter takes place after the majority of the disasters have befallen the United States. The main character helps the larger community drag themselves out of the situations presented. In this book there are fewer technical details of individual survival and more of the broader "community organization" and how to get an area back on its feet. Lots more politics dwell within as the focus in on the county more than the immediate neighborhood. Also presented are some of the longer term possibilities without infrastructure (medical and manufacturing shortcomings as examples).
Remnant follows Shatter by seeing our hero (having moved from community survivalist into county restructuring) jump to military leader. Most of the book focuses on a military unit as it moves across the country trying to help communities rebuild themselves in the face of civil war. The very end is reminiscent of the "reflecting" scene from Lights Out if you have read that.
Over all, I was happy to read the books. The author is obviously from the Spokane, Washington area and someone from that area will probably get more out of the book as the characters interact in the climate, neighborhoods, culture and landmarks of Spokane and the surrounding communities. There is a lot of good information to be gleaned as Mr Sherry takes the main characters through many "WWYD" type situations.
What review would be complete without a link to the author's blog: Deep Winter Blog.