Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Alex Scarrow – Last Light

Oil engineer Andy Sutherland has bored his family for years with scare stories about how one day the oil supply could get cut off and disaster would follow. Following some unrest in the Middle East his predictions start to become true. Andy is stranded in Iraq at the time while his wife Jenny is in Manchester desperately trying to get home to their children who are in London surrounded by looters and lawlessness.

I love post-apocalyptic fiction and this book had been on my wish list for a while. It’s actually more apocalyptic than post-apocalyptic but that doesn’t matter, in fact I think it’s probably the better for it.

The narrative follows the Sutherland family who are all in different locations. Andy is working in Iraq, Jenny is in Manchester for a job interview Leona is at university and has to go and collect her brother Jake from boarding school and return to the family home in London, the chapters switch between the different family members. Leona and Jake’s chapters were my favourite although I did enjoy the whole book.

The book is quite disturbing as it is a potentially realistic situation that could occur. Having witnessed the riots across the country this summer it shows how fragile our society really is, so if there was some kind of major disaster that cut off the oil supply things could potentially break down pretty quickly if handled the wrong way by those in charge.

I liked the writing style and that fast pace of the book. I also liked that it was set (mainly) in the UK. The characters were interesting and the story engrossing. I’ll definitely be adding the sequel, Afterlight to my to read pile.

Right I’m off to stock up on tinned food …

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