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Everything is Broken by John Shirley
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Everything is Broken

by John Shirley

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Quite a dark and gritty read! I enjoyed it, though, it was the kind of thing I look for in a disaster scenario novel with the focus on the human side rather than government or something removed from the human element.

There are a lot of POV's going on and it changes every couple of chapters and it doesn't have any sort of order. Sometimes you get Russ's POV in two consecutive chapters, sometimes you go into Dickie or Nella's head at the start of the chapter and then in the middle of the chapter there's a section break and we're in someone else's head.

Made it confusing, and when the penultimate point happens at the end of the story we have about three or four people who we've been in the heads of for the whole novel, but we only get this climatic scene through one person's eyes. And not the character that it would have made the most sense to see it through.

Another issue I had with it was that the women are very much treated like dainty, breakable objects who drink tea and stay safe in rooms while the men protect the town. Even the "lead" female only stays with a group of bad guys who rape her so bad she gets an infection because she figures it's safer for them to look after her. It gets taxing, and there's a point at the end where one of the lead male characters exclaims to his girlfriend "You got out by yourself!"

Still, it's an exciting read despite its flaws. Recommended if you like the survival/disaster type stories :) ( )
  littleton_pace | Dec 4, 2012 |
Really kept me going from beginning to end. An interesting look at a natural disaster and its after effects. In this story we are given what could happen if a community was isolated from the rest of population and some of those citizens are very power hungry. Very "Lord of the Flies" feel but with adults. ( )
  justablondemoment | Jul 19, 2012 |
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Twenty-year-old Russ arrives in the northern California town of Freedom to visit his dad. Freedom has peculiarities other than its odd name: the local mayor''s ideas of "decentralization" have left it without normal connections to state or federal government and minimal public services. Russ meets an interesting young woman, Pendra, but before he can get to know much about Freedom or its people, a savage tsunami strikes the West Coast. The wave of human brutality that soon hits the isolated town proves more dangerous to the survivors than the natural disaster. Russ, his father, Pendra, and the other townsfolk must tap all their courage and ingenuity - and find strength they never knew they had - if they have any hope of living to find real freedom!… (more)

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