The book-a-week challenge continues with Graham’s Resolution Book 1 – The China Pandemic: A Post-Apocalyptic Medical Thriller by A. R. Shaw.
Was a deadly virus developed as a vaccine an attempt by the Chinese to protect its population or a weapon against humanity? In A.R. Shaw’s Graham’s Resolution Book 1 – The China Pandemic, the virus unleashed on the world has left 98 percent of the population dead and the remaining 2 percent carriers of the virus. It’s a potent near-future scenario: survivors bury their loved ones, animals revert to their natural hunter state, and the worst of humanity bursts forth in desperate need to survive, or satisfy bloodlusts.
The mathematics professor known only as Graham simply wants to bury his wife and father and escape to his family’s cabin to regroup and retrench to mourn after the worldwide catastrophe. But fate has other plans for him. He agrees to a dying mother’s wish that he look after her 5-year-old son; he saves twin teenaged sisters from a murderous madman, and upon arriving at his cabin, finds an old man and very weak woman already occupying his home. This group of strangers form a family of sorts to face the unknown.
Graham’s survival skills are put to the test. Raised by a father who served in the Marine Corps, Graham’s found that his father’s lessons were now his rules to live by. He does not adapt well and change comes hard, but the tough lessons forge a new Graham as he becomes guardian to his brood. Without knowing it, he develops a ‘prepper’ mentality, although he never prepared for the pandemic or any other potential disaster.
This leads to a key element of Shaw’s narrative. A group of local preppers was ready for the pandemic. With no contact with the virus, either as a victim or survivor carrier, the preppers go to great lengths to shield themselves from the contaminated, such as Graham and his newfound family.
Shaw’s multilayered story is intriguing, a what-if played out to the nth degree. It’s not a fast read but it is a page-turner. Each scene, each chapter moves the narrative along and with every added twist, I found myself wondering what else could possibly go wrong. Shaw creates an effective hero in Graham and a despicable villain who collectively are the forces of evil and criminal intent, men preying on the weak to satisfy nefarious needs.
Shaw has created a fine story and allows it to unfold naturally. The message of preparedness is subtle and finely interwoven in the narrative, and never becomes overly didactic or a distraction. Published in 2103 and ranked in the Top 20 of medical thrillers on Amazon with over 500 reviews, the book has a firm place in its genre and deservedly so. Prepper novels are new to me and as a reader, is not a first choice, but I am glad I read this novel. It is thoroughly entertaining and no doubt a fine setup for the remaining books in the series.
4 stars out of 5.
Available in all formats on Amazon.
Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s Son, The Thief’s Mistake, Traitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.