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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book Review: 77 Days In September by Ray Gorham

This is an engaging post-apocalyptic story that gives you survival and moral issues to think about.
77 Days in September
by Ray Gorham

  • File Size: 460 KB
  • Print Length: 283 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052T1O6S
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Post Apocalyptic
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: May 25, 2011
On a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, Americans are getting ready for the holiday weekend, completely unaware of a long-planned terrorist plot about to be launched against the country. Kyle Tait is settling in for his flight home to Montana when a single nuclear bomb is detonated 300 miles above the heart of America. The blast, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), destroys every electrical device in the country, and results in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communications, and bringing to a halt most forms of transportation.

Kyle narrowly escapes when his airplane crashes on take-off, only to find himself stranded 2,000 miles from home in a country that has been forced, from a technological standpoint, back to the 19th Century. Confused, hurt, scared, and alone, Kyle must make his way across a hostile continent to a family he’s not even sure has survived the effects of the attack. As Kyle forges his way home, his frightened family faces their own struggles for survival in a community trying to halt its slow spiral into chaos and anarchy.

77 Days in September follows Kyle and his wife, Jennifer, as they are stretched past their breaking point, but find in their devotion to each other the strength to persevere. 

I have been enjoying reading post-apocalyptic books and was anxious to read this story when it was offered.
I wasn’t far into it when it made me think of the reality-like quality of The War of the Worlds. The story is set up so realistically I was quickly engaged and pretty much read the book in one day.

A group of terrorists have waited and planned for many years to make a strike that will disable America. The bombs explode miles in space but the resulting EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) impacts all electrical devices causing devastating plane crashes, car crashes and stopping all communication and crippling any business dependent on electricity.

The story shifts between the characters. The reader experiences Kyle’s struggles traveling on foot through hostile cities to get home to his family in Montana.  Kyle shares thoughts and emotional feelings through journaling letters to his family. Alternating chapters show his wife, Jennifer, and their children as they fight for basic survival and to keep hope alive. There are some good, caring people willing to help but that is contrasted with the societal breakdowns shown through the greed and malicious actions of evil people. Kyle faces danger and has to decide how far he will go to defend his meager supplies or himself against evil attackers.

Jennifer faces different problems trying to find food sources for her children and keeping them busy and optimistic in times that bring despair. I felt this part of the story was a little weak. Although different survival, medical and social issues are touched on there is not much depth on these issues.

Additionally both husband and wife face relationship temptation. How does Jennifer fend off unwanted attention from a local leader in the community, a man of power and control? Will Kyle resist the seduction of an attractive woman in circumstances where there are no witnesses and no others to know his actions? The story demonstrates that the EMP damage creates a world where anyone could walk away from their responsibilities, leave who they were and become someone else.

I liked the realistic sense of the story and the easy flow of the writing.  I liked Kyle’s determination and Jennifer’s positive attitude. I also enjoyed how Mr. Gorham shared probable societal issues and he provided a view of faith through good people who were willing to do the “right” things even when it wasn’t necessarily expedient.

I was interested to compare this to the 1950s classic Alas Babylon. 77 Days story deals with more modern losses like cell phones and computers. But primarily this story is distinct in that it focuses on two partners of a marriage and how they cope with moral issues rather than telling the story of a surviving village. I found 77 Days in September to be engaging and entertaining and recommend it to those who enjoy Post-Apocalyptic stories and a book that presents moral issues to consider.

Some of Kyle’s thoughts on his way:
I’ve realized in the past few days that we don’t need much to be happy, just good people to be with. Location 2774.
An important lesson to note:
“...We’ve been so conditioned to think that the government is always going to be there to fix things that we expect everything to work out. But now that the government can’t take care of us, we’re helpless to do anything for ourselves.” Location 4677
Thank you to the author and Bewitching Book Tour for providing this book for review. Please enjoy the author Guest Post and Interview that follow.
Part of this book takes place in Montana for my Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also include this on my ARC, New Author and Post-Apocalyptic Challenge lists.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really enjoying post-apocalyptic reads, I'm putting 77 Days in September on my wishlist :)


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