As you turn the opening pages of Outage, the parents of 15 year old Dee, our self-absorbed and somewhat reluctant teenage heroine from the city, are leaving her with her grandfather. He runs a veterinary service on a small farm near the town of Lookout Falls in Washington State.
After Dee’s mom and dad depart for a vacation cruise to Alaska, she is hit with the realization that there is no cell phone or internet service, let alone a mall or nearby shopping center to hang out at, meet boys and socialize. This is completely untenable and unacceptable to her. Dee is determined to run at the earliest opportunity, by any means possible.
This beginning sets the stage for what turns into an action-packed, non-stop apocalyptic novel for young adults. First time author Ellisa Barr created an exciting story centered on an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event which grips the nation, Dee’s family, and her newly made friends.
While interviewing Ms. Barr for this book review, she shared with me a bit of her personal history and experiences growing up in a small town in rural Idaho. It quickly became apparent that Barr pulled from her life experiences, faith, and wonderful imagination to create highly engaging prose and dialog that draws readers into the story and the main character’s life. Dee’s trials and triumphs unfold as the post EMP world churns.
I felt like I was right in the midst of events as Dee soon finds her high tech world of texting, tweeting, and Facebook gone, replaced by her struggle to keep the family farm going with her ailing grandfather. A rapidly maturing Dee helps family, friends and neighbors as they band together to survive and create community not experienced in the United States since the 1800’s, and deal with a ruthless local sheriff.
This 233 page book has all the hallmarks of an engaging Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery set to a modern day apocalyptic theme. There is action, adventure and even a bit of romance to entice the reader as you delve into the pages of this entertaining work.
I unintentionally read late into the night engrossed in Outage, book one of the Powerless Nation series. And I will happily burn the midnight oil reading Ms. Barr’s upcoming tome, Voyage, book two in the series.
I highly recommend Outage to anyone interested in an engaging and fast-paced apocalyptic read. It’s great!