5 out of 5 stars

Harry is an artist who lives in his late nephews apartment. He is fairly self contained and is so engrossed in his work that he misses what is happening in the outside world. When it dawns on him that the London that he used to know is pretty much a ghost town, he decides to head to the cottage he has in the West Country. He leaves a note for his neighbour not knowing that he will ever see her again.

Driving to the cottage he is very much aware of how few people have survived the pandemic that has hit the world. After a little while he is surprised to see his London neighbour and her sister appear at his door. They like him, are some of the few survivors that are left. She is a doctor and she saw first hand the devastation of this disease and the news she brings is even more alarming. The nuclear power stations that are scattered across Europe only had a certain amount of time before they become critical and blow.

They need to get to Africa as soon as possible to ensure their safety.

So begins their adventure travelling across Europe scavenging things from homes and other properties on the run from the coming nuclear winter.

Woven in with this story is another thread. Two scientists, Paul and Lisa, are working with an AI. They are teaching it human history with the hope that it could learn what went right and wrong at each stage of civilisation and be able to advise them what humanity need to do in the modern age. The predictions that it gives are not what the scientist and their backers want to hear.

I though that this was excellent. It is both plausible and utterly terrifying. The timing of this book was spot on, written just prior to the pandemic and then released after it bought home just how vulnerable we still are. And still so unprepared too. I did think that there would be a few more people left in this near future, but them does not diminish from the quality of the story. If you are a fan of Station Eleven, then I would recommend reading this too.


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