Minggu, 25 Maret 2012
Sundown Two by E. Don Harpe & Phil Whitley - Fiction book review
By: E. Don Harpe, Phil Whitley
Published: July 2, 2011
Format: Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Flint River Press
In late 2012, a runaway moon crashes into the Sun, and the resulting electromagnetic pulses and shock waves devastate the planet. In a world without an electrical grid, and where all electronic devices no longer function, the United States transforms into a desolate wasteland where people kill one another for food and the basic necessities of life. Marty Cross, cult leader Gideeon Cross, and President of the United States Margaret Ames discover that a defense bunker, known as Sundown Two, has been activated by the destructive events, and is counting down to destroy all remaining life on Earth. In their frantic race against time, hungry marauding bands, and renegade Colonel Frank Cassidy who is dedicated to ensuring that the Sundown Two destruction sequence takes place, there is no time to lose to save the human race, in the science fiction and distopian thriller Sundown Two by acclaimed novelists Phil Whitley and E. Don Harpe.
E. Don Harpe (photo left) and Phil Whitley provide a plausible scientific scenario for the destruction of modern civilization on a global scale. Solar flares and coronal mass ejections are well known phenomenon, and an extremely powerful one could indeed create massive electromagnetic pulses and shock waves. While the disaster aspect of the novel is an intriguing one, the real force of the novel is how people react to the disaster and the permanent disruption of civilization as they understand it. The authors extrapolated the anarchic and dangerous conditions that followed large scale natural and man made disasters. The looting, hoarding, and inhuman behavior would be, as the authors describe, multiplied exponentially.
It's into this nasty, brutish, and short Hobbesian world that Marty and Brenda Bishop, and their daughter Jenna awaken. Their quest to survive while attempting to maintain their basic human dignity and spirit of hop is a crucial theme element of the novel. Phil Whitley (photo left) and E. Don Harpe provide a human drama that forms a microcosm of the larger scale mass destruction and human tragedy that takes place around them.
The authors reflect the prophesies of the Mayans, the Book of Revelation, the I Ching, and Nostradamus within the novel, creating parallels to the mythology of the end of the world. The apocalyptic narrative provides both a Pilgrim's progress seeking the Promised Land, and a reversal of that narrative as the main characters make a descent into Hell. It is in that darkest and deadliest of places that the characters must rise above their personal demons and transcend their egos for the benifit of all humanity.
The authors leave it to the reader to determine if the quest into the darkness of the soul, to redeem mankind, was worth the sacrifice. The novel contains the powerful themes of a hero's journey to self discovery in the form of Jenna. Her quest is in a long line of heroic characters, and her journey is critical to the understanding of the goodness of humanity, even if they must commit evil for survival. Indeed, as the authors make clear, the former rules and concepts of what can be considered good or evil, no longer apply in the new and chaotic world.
All human creations, including ethical and moral codes imposed by society, no longer apply in the new state of nature world. What matters in that dark world is the hero's own personal code of honor and duty to others. There is still room for love, family, and personal sacrifice, even in a world gone insane. That alone present hope for humanity, and the eventual return of civilization and peace for all.
I highly recommend the enjoyable and page turning novel Sundown Two by E. Don Harpe and Phil Whitley, to anyone seeking an adventure thrill ride through a very possible and very dangerous future. This novel gives you an insight into how the veneer of civilization is very thin, and both the dark side and the best side of humanity are not very far beneath the surface.