Rise From The Ashes: Lena’s Story by Laura Franklin   Leave a comment

Blurb: The Taliban have bombed the US with a chemical agent. It wiped out over half of the population and left the country in shambles. Those who are left find unexplained things happening like premonitions in their dreams and enhanced senses. Lena, a young woman from Vermont, and Mick, a young man in the US Army, grow close and become leaders as they trudge north to meet up with a military camp at Lake Champlain. Their dreams continue to get more peculiar and have even synced up in a historical setting. With the power out and gasoline a scarce resource; motorcycles, horses and bicycles have become the new mode of transport. In another group that is trying to survive, a priest leads discouraged parishioners north and is faced with tough decisions as he has to put the well-being of the group ahead of individuals. They have to band together to make it through this new chaotic situation, relying on their intuition and basic survival skills. This motley crew must reorganize the country just as was done after the revolutionary war. The clock is ticking as the persisting threats of the Taliban, drug lords from south of the border and rival gangs across the country put US freedoms in jeopardy.

Review: Let’s get to the book. These post-apocalyptic deals are more my speed and I enjoyed this one thoroughly though it took me a minute to understand and get into it. We’re introduced to multiple POVs in this one, starting with co-protagonists Lena and Mick, a Vermont girl out of high school and a U.S. Army private that survive a two-pronged bio-weapon assault from the Taliban that renders people sneezing to death. In this new America, the Taliban are not the only threat; there are people who have awakened to their sadistic natures and Latin America drug cartels who want to invade and take over the country. This attack has also given several people improved senses, such as Mick’s reflexes, Sue (a member of Lena and Mick’s group) has improved sight, Lena’s thought process becomes near-superhuman, and so on. I was a bit confused at some parts in the book, but as time went on, things started to make sense- like the dreams everyone were having that felt all too real. The characters were unique, such as the priest, Steve- who was one of the nicest people in town but having his patience tested by the spoiled Kim to boiling points. The pace of the writing was interesting and while Mick and Lena had started a relationship, the author didn’t go into much detail about it but that’s okay because I can live without heavy emphasis on romance. If you’re into post-apocalypse writings, I’d suggest giving this one a shot despite the mixed reviews.

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