It’s official. There’s an EMP book for everyone. If the doomsday scenario of One Second After weren’t enough, and the non-stop attacks in Light’s Out didn’t thrill you, then Stacey’s Quest might be more your cup of tea.
Stacey’s Quest by AK Steele, tells the realistic story of a teenage girl whose life revolves around high school, her friends, and shopping trips to the mall. In every way her life is that of any other American girl. In a moment, though, that world completely changes with an EMP burst. Stacey and her friends find themselves at the mall when the lights and heat go out and a blizzard rages outside the mall doors. They have nothing on but the flimsy shoes and fashionable outfits they left home with that morning.
We follow Stacey in her struggle to find her way home, through snow drifts and encounters with dangerous and desperate people, only to reach a mother who is shocked into a near zombie-like state and a house that is woefully unprepared for an emergency. As the days pass, Stacey is the one who is faced with making tough decisions and discovers that inside a shell of teenage superficiality beats the heart of a determined survivor. I particularly liked a scene in which Stacey and a friend make their way to a grocery store that has now become headquarters for a band of criminals, handing out canned soup and the like in exchange for drugs, bullets, and anything else barterable. That is a very realistic scenario and one I haven’t seen portrayed in similar books.
Stacey’s Quest is a real page-turner. I found myself reading it into the wee hours of the night. Stacey is only sixteen and one might think the book is suitable for younger readers, but I wouldn’t recommend it for readers younger than 15 or 16. Early in the book, Stacey and her friends encounter armed, would-be rapists. There are scenes of death throughout the book, as one might expect, and mature themes of drug use and a brief mention of pornography. Parents of teenagers may wish to read the book first. I would say, “preview” the book except I don’t think you’ll be content with reading just a few paragraphs here and there. The story is too compelling.
My only quibble with the book is the way it portrays just about everyone living in cities. According to the father and daughter authors, penning the book as AK Steele, city dwellers live moment by moment, with not even a week’s worth of food in the house. They’re not prepared to deal with a hangnail, much less anything worse. There was a consistent and negative caricature of city people that, at times, it distracted from the story. A similar caricature exists in the character of Stacey’s uncle and his family. They come to the rescue of her family with their guns, dehydrated food and a near idyllic rural life.
Overall, Stacey’s Quest is an enjoyable thriller that would make excellent beach reading this summer. It gives a completely different perspective to an EMP event and its aftermath. Terrible decisions have to be made, along with their terrible consequences, all from the viewpoint of a young woman who becomes a tougher survivor with each turn of the page.
NOTE: Stacey’s Quest was written by fellow preppers and a new sponsor living in Alaska. If you read and enjoy the book, visit their Amazon page and leave a review!