The Alaskan Chronicles: The Provider by John Hunt, published by Lodestone Books on 14th June 2018
The year is 2020 and President Trump has just announced that the world is bracing itself for the effects of a huge solar storm.
17 year old Jim Richards is a gawky, unimpressive teenager in Anchorage, Alaska. As chaos descends and society breaks down into anarchy and violence, his family team up with others to leave the city and take their chances in the Alaskan wilderness. They can no longer flick a switch to get what they want, no mobile or internet, in fact no communication at all with the wider world, how will it play out?
Jim must step up, and in doing so, find his true self, his first love, and his destiny. How will the human race survive in this new world?
This book had an interesting premise but didn't quite pull me in as I was expecting it too. The second half was better than the first as it had a lot more pace but overall, I found it very slow.
The story is set in the year 2020 when President Trump announces that a huge solar storm is about to hit. When solar flares take out the entire electricity grid, the world plunges into an age without phones or the internet; cars no longer run, TVs don't work and all modern commodities are gone in the blink of an eye. The plot centres around teenager Jim and his family who head into the Alaskan wilderness to seek refuge from looters and mass mobs when the whole of society starts to crumble.
I normally always enjoy survival stories which are set in remote locations. It's interesting to see how the characters have to use every survival tactic in the book to rebuild their lives, including learning how to catch food and build shelter. However, there was something about this title that just didn't hit the mark for me. I struggled with some of the characterisation and dialogue which didn't seem to be very realistic. The characters were slightly one-dimensional and although there were some things about Jim that I liked, I never really rooted for him as the hero of the story.
The ending was strange and didn't entirely feel like it fit with the rest of the book. I also don't think that I will be continuing with the series as I wasn't left with a burning desire to find out what happens to them all next.