CHAS: FORESHADOWING DESTINY — By Mike Arthur — Novel — Westbow Press — 2013 — Trade PB: 165 pages — ISBN: 978-1-4905-0192-6 — Available on Kindle
“Chas was a planner . . .”
. . . and a good thing he was. Chas Anders is staying in a motel overnight when disaster strikes: a coordinated nuclear attack on the United States using the EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) effect, along with a major war in the Middle East.
The EMP has converted just about every piece of modern, microchipped technology—automobiles and delivery trucks, airplanes and telephones and radios—to piles of useless junk, signalling the complete collapse of modern society.
Stranded six hundred miles from home, Chas has a daunting task ahead of him—somehow to get back to his wife and daughter on his own two feet across a lawless land harboring frightened, desperate people and—on more than one occasion—roaming bands of thugs who won’t hesitate to murder for money or even a scrap of food.
For Chas, however, it will become not only a struggle for physical survival but also one for his very soul.
First-time author Mike Arthur has done a pretty good job with Chas. The characters and incidents are enough to hold your interest, making the reader want to know what will happen next, which for story tellers is THE most highly prized element.
Chas would have benefited greatly with more careful proofreading, however. While Arthur has told a good story, stylistic problems such as unnecessary repetition and usage confusions (such as “sit-set”) could have been avoided. The author has also run afoul of an all-too-common problem: how to insert large chunks of background information (“infodumps”) into the text without bringing the story to a screeching halt. If it’s any comfort, even veteran writers seem to have that problem.
With those minor qualifications, then, Chas can be recommended.
Parental caution: Scenes of graphic violence.