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WesternSFA


The Apocalypse Seven
by Gene Doucette
HMH, $15.99, 432pp
Published: May 25, 2021

For fans of The Wanderers by Chuck Wendig comes an apocalypse story like no other. Seven strangers wake to find they are the only humans left alive. But they are not alone.

From a teenage delinquent to an MIT scientist, seven strangers with little in common wake one morning outside of Boston to discover they are the last humans alive. First they slowly find their way together across a wildly overgrown Massachusetts, tangling with packs of wild pigs and coywolves, with little food or information. As they try to build a new community with limited resources, all the while wondering how they slept through the end of the world, they begin to feel that something is stalking them . . .

What happens when you sleep through the end of the world?  Seven people wake to find they are alone and the world as they knew it has ended.

First to wake is Robbie, alarmed that he is missing his first day of freshman classes at Harvard and then confused as there is no power, no people and the campus is overgrown and teeming with wildlife.  Soon he finds Carol, a blind student, who is searching for her guide dog that has disappeared.  As they continue to search the campus and surrounding city they run into Tourʹe, literally as he almost runs Robbie down with his bicycle. As the sounds of hunting wolves come closer, they realize they need safe shelter for the night as well as food so they head for a local supermarket. They get separated with Tourʹe reaching the supermarket where he finds 13-year-old Bethany while Robbie and Carol find shelter from the wolves elsewhere. Reunited in the morning they start to realize that surviving the apocalypse is going to be a lot harder than they realize.

Outside of the city, Preacher Paul takes a bit longer to realize that he is apparently alone in the world since he is a recluse who lives off the grid. When no one shows for Sunday services he packs up and goes looking for others. Taking shelter in a missing friend’s home he manages to get the ham radio running and finally finds one voice out in the airwaves, an MIT professor named Ananda. He sets off from his New Hampshire home to find her at MIT. Elsewhere Win wakes on her family ranch to find no one around there or at any of the surrounding farms or ranches. As she makes her way towards the city she finds a horse she names Elton (a favorite character for me) and works her way to the city.  Eventually all seven meet up and join forces only to find that lack of power, extreme weather and hunting packs of wolves and boar are possibly the least of their problems as they are stalked by a two differing phenomena - a lurking shadow with BO and sparkling lights that seem to be getting angrier.

I love end of the world literature but this is more about what comes after since the world has long ended when our protagonists awaken. As a refreshing change our survivors are not survivalists or preppers, they make mistakes, they are slow to realize some important needs but they work together to make a life for themselves.  I can’t really say a lot about the two extra phenomena they have to face without spoiling the plot. This is a wonderful read and is highly recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

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