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Book Review: The Pulse

I recently sat down and read “The Pulse” by Scott B. Williams.  A thrilling tale about a modern world suddenly left without electricity.  Set between the bayou and the open ocean, it is a reminder how some people will survive while others will perish in a major disaster.

By Jimmy C, a contributing author to SurvivalCache.com

Overview

Two middle aged brothers set out on a trip to sail a customer’s brand new boat from Louisiana down to the Caribbean.  During their trip, a sudden solar flare knocks out all communications and electronics leaving them to sail the remainder of their trip the old fashion way, using the stars and dead reckoning.  After they learn that the solar flare had affected a much larger area than just their sail boat, one of the men, Artie, starts to worry about his daughter who is back in New Orleans.

The book follows two story lines.  One is the voyage of the two brothers, Larry and Artie, determined to make it back from the Caribbean to find Artie’s daughter.  These guys run the gauntlet of adventure, with everything from weather to modern day pirates.  Larry and Artie’s quest could be a book on its own.  The other story line follows Artie’s daughter, Casey, who was living in New Orleans when the solar flare occurs.  Casey and her friends struggle with the critical decision on whether to stay or leave a major urban area during a catastrophe.  The group of young 20 somethings are suddenly faced with no electricity, limited food, and the ugly side of humanity.

About the Author

(From the author’s website) Scott B. Williams is a writer with a passion for adventure.  He draws on his extensive experiences as a sea kayaker, sailor, boat builder and wilderness traveler to craft his works of fiction and nonfiction. Scott B. Williams has spent most of his adult life exploring a broad range of personal interests on a never-ending quest to learn and experience new things.  As a traveler who thrives on adventure, he has always sought challenges and pursued his passions to the fullest.

Scott has written several survival type books, both fiction and non-fiction.  Bug-Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late, was Scott’s first book on the subject of survival, followed by Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived, and Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters: Build and Outfit Your Lifesaving Escape.  Scott B. Williams’ latest book is The Darkness After.

Likes

If you have read “Lights Out” or “One Second After” then you know a world without electricity will be a painful experience.  This book shares that pain but unlike those books, which are focused on groups of people huddled together against the hordes, this book focuses on the quest of one man to reach his daughter during a crisis.  The storyline was believable and the book had limited amount of “Survival Luck” which is the painful part of another survival author’s books which we have reviewed here.  Whenever someone just happens to have a ham radio or a 1968 diesel truck, it drives me nuts.  The characters in this book made their own luck for the most part and it was refreshing.

I also liked the freaky redneck character at the end of the book, it reminded me of one of my buddies from Texas who recently Book Review The Pulsetook me alligator hunting in the bayou.  “Squeal like a pig!!!”

Dislikes

One of the characters, a Jamaican guy named Scully, who travels with Artie and Larry on their journey was great.  Trying to understand what Scully was saying was a little painful.  Having a white guy (Scott B. Williams)  from the United States translate his version of the Jamaican dialect was a weak point.  The author could have just put a “mon” on the end of each sentence and I would have understood that he was Jamaican.  Luckily it was only in a small amount of the book and it wasn’t a major distraction.

Summary

The Pulse starts off a little slow (as most books do) but becomes a page turner with a wicked twist at the end.  I think you will enjoy The Pulse, it is a realistic look at what people will have to endure during a major crisis.  It will also remind you of our incredible reliability on the electrical grid and what that means to civilization as we know it.

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