Author Jordan Rivet has struck it out of the ballpark once more in Wake Me After the Apocalypse.
As a comet named Brandon speeds toward Earth, the days until mankind’s extinction are truly numbered. Even with eight months until impact there is little that humanity can do: avoidance of this tragedy is impossible. Although the field of cryosleep is relatively new, it may be the only chance man has of reclaiming the Earth and rebuilding. One thousand randomly selected individuals are selected to rebuild society after the impact. But with the devastation caused by a direct hit from the comet and the impact winter that will follow life will be wiped out for at least one hundred years. Taking a risk, the one thousand people who will repopulate the earth are given immersive training in survival; they are taught to follow the program set out before them; they are taught basic skills to rebuild our society; and above all they are programmed to not panic. All of this must be accomplished before they are placed into a deep cryosleep where they will remain for two hundred years – enough time for vegetation to begin anew and for the effects of impact winter to have subsided.
One of the randomly selected participants in the program is eighteen-year-old Joanna Murphy. With trepidation at leaving her parents who she knows will surely die, Joanna joins the other members of her team – Blue Team Seven – and begins her training. The participants have been sequestered in a heavily guarded encampment away from towns and cities. They proceed with their learning and are left exhausted by the end of each day, too exhausted and too far removed from others to see how society is disintegrating as the time to comet impact draws closer.
Fast forward two hundred years and the time has come for Joanna and the others to reawaken. As she slowly opens her eyes she is aware that there are red lights around her cryo-tube where there should be blue ones. Slowly she emerges from her tube to find that their underground cavern – home of one thousand cryotubes – has had a cave in. After getting accustomed to being awake and moving again, Joanna realizes that she is the only one alive. Lower numbered tubes are crushed and their occupants dead. Higher numbered tubes (she is number 188) are blocked by rubble from the cave in. She assumes that all others are dead. It is her sheer determination and programming along with her curiosity about what Earth now looks like that finally get her to the outside. Fifteen hundred feet below the earth’s crust, Joanna must call on every bit of her courage, her training, her determination to get her through. And through it all she must remember, Don’t Panic!
Using Joanna and her cohorts as a cross-section of today’s society, we are given a glimpse into the future. A future that may be bleak or a future that may be full of hope and promise. Or maybe a bit of both. The plot of the story is spellbinding, and I found myself staying up all night just to finish the book. Easy reading, characters to whom the reader is effortlessly drawn, a setting that is global yet condensed, all are earmarks of Ms. Rivet’s captivating writing style. I’ve read this author’s SeaSwept Series (post-apocalyptic story set on a cruise ship) and immensely enjoyed all the books in that series.
With Wake Me After the Apocalypse, I felt a kinship with the character of Joanna from the first page. Readers of post-apocalyptic stories will revel in this new offering from Jordan Rivet. This reader hopes that there will be a sequel to this book although it works perfectly as a stand-alone novel.
If you like action, adventure, or thrillers, don’t miss this one.
Note: I was provided with an ARC by the author.
Rating: 5 stars