Boston Darkens

by Michael Kravitz

"I did not want her to see my tears. I had to show strength. Maybe it was a man thing. There were a lot of things I could have said to her, but my mind turned quickly. I had to show confidence and a little leadership."

After a nuclear explosion causes an electromagnetic pulse that effectively shuts down all electronics, communications, and modern transportation, Ben Randal struggles to keep his family and community intact in the face of a rapidly deteriorating society. Kravitz wastes no time pulling readers into the action, as Ben must undertake a dangerous cross-state quest for much-needed fresh water for his family.

Using his son’s restored 1956 Buick, an older car immune to the effects of the EMP, Ben and his fellow travelers must dodge a sea of stranded modern vehicles and rotting bodies, while evading roving looters and gangs. Unfortunately, Ben can’t avoid shooting one such attacker. While entirely justified, Ben anguishes over what he’s done. Rather than continue down a path of violence, however, Ben vows to keep his family and community together and calls on each member’s skills to create a neighborhood collaborative with a common goal: survival. Even the town drunk is given a place in Ben’s new society and is no longer regarded as an outcast.

Kravitz wisely avoids dwelling on the reasons for the attack and instead focuses on the human response to the tragedy. At the same time, he largely steers clear of the post-apocalyptic violence of stories like Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, preferring instead to highlight the inherent good in people to pull together in times of tragedy and strife. The book underscores a message of hope and the resilience of the human spirit. While grammatical errors are prevalent, at just 100 pages, the book is a tight, fast-paced read with an uplifting outcome.

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