Book Reviewed by Daniel Ryan Johnson
The Pulse is the first novel in an epic post-apocalyptic series chronicling the quest of Jack Broderick. The novel tells the story of a man struggling to get back to his family on the other side of the United States after a solar storm destroys all electronics on earth. Unlike your standard end-of-the-world novel of today, there are no zombies standing in his way. Instead, the only monsters he faces are other survivors of the pulse. Purchase Here.
Owen Garratt’s tale of the fall of civilization in the days after a global catastrophe is both shockingly brutal and refreshingly realistic. He is able to convey myriad responses to this tragic event that all ring true. The characters in the novel are down to earth and believable, even with Jack Broderick’s ability to survive bordering on the supernatural. The Pulse feels like a genuine portrayal of a tragic event, with the characters enjoying moments of tranquility and humor that help protect them from being overwhelmed by the grief and horror of their situation.
Owen Garratt’s writing is stripped down and vivid all at once. When reading, you are fully submersed in the scenario playing out on the pages without being bogged down by too many overly descriptive disruptions to the flow of the story. Jack Broderick’s history of growing up in rural America and later working as a health and safety professional gives him a near encyclopedic knowledge of how to manage in the new world into which he has crash-landed.
Jack is easy to like, and you find yourself rooting for him right away. Despite all the potential dangers he encounters on his journey to reach his family, the biggest obstacle he will face on the road may be himself. Jack’s savior complex gets him in trouble before the pulse hits, and continues to put him in harm’s way throughout the novel.
The Pulse is an action-packed page-turner, with Jack Broderick constantly jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Upon completing the novel, you will likely find yourself searching the internet for news of when the next installment of the series will be available so you can continue the journey across a burning America with this broken man who can’t help trying to fix everyone else.