Monday 1 September 2014

Reviews - The Knowledge & Premonitions

The knowledge by Lewis Dartnell

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from…

Dartnell sets out to outline the knowledge required to rebuild out modern society after an apocalypse. Full of interesting information it kind of fails at its stated aim, in my opinion, because it assumes that the apocalypse is a “nice” one (i.e. doesn’t destroy the infrastructure too much) and that the folk left behind will have a viable population for industrial society. However if you’re ready to take those two assumptions then Dartnell takes a whirlwind tour of restarting electricity, industrial chemistry, medicine, communications and all the rest of the technologies that make the modern world what it is. Along the way you’ll get a great, but brief, overview of all these things. It is, by necessity, brief and perhaps this is the greatest criticism that can be levelled at the book since anyone can tell you that the devil is in the details. There are a few illustrations but if anything it is a primer for the intelligent survivor to know what knowledge he needs to seek out.   

Overall – You’ll need more than this one book to help you restart civilisation, but having this one book will give you a good headstart

Premonitions by Jamie Schultz

Premonitions by Jamie Schultz

Karyn Ames hallucinates the future, she’s the leader of a small crew who procure antiquities and magical gewgaws using her skills to avoid trouble. However her hallucinations are bad, they can take over her life, so she takes a drug called blind, only really available from one fairly creepy drug dealer who lives in a ruin and is overly fond of rats. When the group are approached by a notorious crime boss who wants them to steal a relic from a cult the crew agree because there is a two million  dollar payout for them if they do. Told from a variety of POVs this is a smart, modern supernatural heist novel that is a whole ton of fun. This is the first in a series, with the intro to the second in the back, so could feel a bit unfinished in a lesser writer’s hands, however it has a very satisfying wholeness to the story and yet the world is such that you know you’re not done with the characters.

Schultz will no doubt be compared to Wendig as they both have female protagonists who glimpse the future and both writers have a knack for witty prose and fast moving plots.

Overall – Great start to a series & I’ll definitely be tracking the second book down

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