18 December 2012

Review: Breakers by Edward W. Robertson

Breakers (Breakers #1) by Edward W. Robertson

Published: 6 August 2012

Pages: 309 (e-book)

Genre/s: Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction

Source: Own Library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Synopsis

In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter.

When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn't the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA, where Vanessa had planned to move when she left him. He expects to die along the way.

Months later, a massive vessel appears above Santa Monica Bay. Walt is attacked by a crablike monstrosity in a mountain stream. The virus that ended humanity wasn't created by humans. It was inflicted from outside. The colonists who sent it are ready to finish the job--and Earth's survivors may be too few and too weak to resist.


My Thoughts


If it wasn't for the inherent spazmoidness of my internet connection, it could have been a while before I read Breakers.  But I was looking for a Kindle book to read, and lack of internets meant I only had a few downloaded, and I was in the mood for a post-apoc, so I started reading.............and even when my internets was (sporadically) restored, I kept reading.

What I liked best, and what will stick in my mind the longest, about Breakers is the characters.  Often in post-apocalyptic books, with so much going on plot and world-building wise, the character development can be a little lacking, but that's not the case with Breakers.

Raymond and Mia are a fabulous couple.  Their connection and dedication to each other, coupled with sarcastic, snicker-out-loud one liners made them totally realistic and three-dimensional.  Walt was an interesting character, from a seemingly melodramatic, almost pathetic lapdog with a slightly psychotic side, through suicidal and into full-throttle action man was a riveting progression to see.

I loved the first half of Breakers - as the flu virus moves through the country, and the world, things start to fall apart - not in a day but over a period of time as services stop, looting starts and people are forced to become much more independent and it was written so well I almost felt I was witnessing a possible future. 

And at first, when the spaceship appeared, it seemed like the story would carry on in the same way, with the additional bonus of alien invaders.

However, I found that the last 1/3 of the book started to feel more and more rushed, like the fun part of writing was over, and the author was going through the motions as quickly as possible to get to the intense ending.  It did pick up slightly at the end, although the actions of some characters did seem a little far-fetched, even for a PA / Sci-Fi story.  There was also one particular scene that should have had a huge impact on the characters that was almost over before it began, and I was quite disappointed that it wasn't more closely examined or explained.  There is also large periods of time that elapse without a timeline being specified - I know the 'three months later' headings can be cheesy, but it was only at a mention of how much time had passed near the end of the book that I actually knew how much time had elapsed in the course of the story.

As a sci-fi book, the plot and world-building is fairly plausible, and there's a good balance in the amount of detail about the aliens and their technologies to satisfy pretty much everyone.

Overall, despite some pacing issues, I did enjoy Breakers.  It was a pleasant surprise in terms of character development, but there were a few points that made it a little frustrating for me.


6 comments:

  1. spazmoidness! Win!!

    I really like the sounds of this book. My fav post apocalyptic books are the ones that are high on character development and so many fail epically at it. So I' glad to hear that this author made it a priority I'm definitely way interested in it now. Plus that cover is really neat/creepy! Too bad that it got rushed after a while thought but I still think I'd really enjoy this one. Great review, muffin!

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    1. That is the tame name for it...many bad words were shouted.

      The first half is so good!

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  2. That's a surprisingly good ebook cover!

    Oh hey, character development is very important! Good work, author!

    Too bad that there wasn't enough work put into the ending, since the book started out so good. :(

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    1. Yeah :( but I'm still going to try the next one, the character-development kept me interested.

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  3. I picked this book up Free several months ago but have yet to read. I've read lots of reviews about this and most of the points you hit on they did to. I guess in a way that is why I haven't been quick to read it.

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    Replies
    1. The first half was really addictive. The second half not so good but it still had its merits. Maybe the second one will feel more solid - at least, I hope so!

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