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June 1, 2019

Meltdown by GP James ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Meltdown has been on my review shelf for a year. I was excited to read it when I received it but as it sometimes happens I just couldn't get to it and as life seems to be going by so fast in no time it was a year later. But I'm glad I finally got to read this. I was interested in it as a possible recommendation for my post-apocalyptic book club and I think I will suggest it during our July meeting when we set the upcoming year of reading.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.
May 2018; Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing; 978-1948018074
ebook, print (398 pages); science fiction
The story focuses on husband and wife Trace and Avi as they experience a nuclear energy plant malfunction following a massive earthquake on the east coast of the United States. Trace is a supervisor at the plant and is on duty when the earthquake hits. Avi had run into the grocery store on her way to pick up her 4-year-old daughter from day camp when the disaster begins. While Trace struggles to get an ever-growing crisis at the plant, Avi must search for their daughter.

I liked the characters as they deal with the struggles from a disaster they never anticipated. Major earthquakes just don't happen in New York I think they went through the normal range of emotions.

Avi's constant complaint of the uncaring, unsympathetic response of emergency workers got a bit old. I understand she is distraught not knowing where her daughter is, but she's displaying the same emotional response. She is not the only one separated for her child, but she is only thinking of herself and not of the millions of people that the emergency personnel is having to think about.

I felt sorry for Trace. He may not have been the best of husbands in the past few years, but I don't think he didn't love his family. His is a situation that a lot of people find themselves in. Especially when the beginning the relationship seemed effortless. When life stresses start to creep in they don't realize that extra attention needs to be paid to their marriage. Trace just fell into the trap of taking the relationship with his wife for granted. I also don't think it was all Trace's fault. As Avi displays during the crisis, she can be selfish, very self-centered.

I think the crisis makes them both realize that they contributed to them drifting apart.

The reading level throughout the novel is what would be expected of genre fiction. However, a handful of times there would a sudden "SAT word" would be thrown in. It reminded of me of what we would do in high school when writing essays. We would use the thesaurus option in the word processing program (I'm old and using a computer to type an essay was a novelty) and choose a "bigger" word than we would have normally used. We thought it made us sound more intelligent. Instead, it was jarring. It only occurred a handful of times and as this is an advance reader copy, the words could have been changed before final publication. Don't let this negative comment keep you from reading this book.

At first, I wondered if it would be truly considered post-apocalyptic fiction (we use a pretty broad definition in my book club). But as the story progressed, I did think it would be something interesting to discuss. While the story is focused largely on this couple, there are hints of outside issues. Enough to provide points of discussion.

Buy Meltdown at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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