Book Review: Soft Apocalypse

McIntosh’s debut novel takes a different, likely more realistic view of the apocalypse set around the Savannah, Georgia countryside during the 2020’s to 2030’s. Instead of a major catastrophic event causing the crash of civilization, this tale describes society’s meltdown due to unrestricted use of resources, a forty percent unemployment rate, bioengineered diseases, radical extremists and more. Although gas, cars, electrical power and other everyday things we take for granted are available, they are generally considered luxuries. Jasper finds his sociology degree worthless as he and a loosely constructed tribe of former middle class Americans struggle to survive as society continues a gradual but terrifying decline. Yet even as the world they knew collapses around them, people persist in clinging to the vain hope that life will return to normal if they can just hang on.

This short, ten chapter book covering approximately ten years paints a bleak though realistic picture of the consequences of worldwide economic collapse expedited by fringe groups busily pursuing private agendas. Excellent character development more then makes up for the story’s unevenness. With bioengineering, assorted tribes, bartering, warfare and even a touch of romance, there is something for nearly everyone in this well thought out apocalyptic tale that is anything but soft.

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