Aaron Week Eleven – The Defiant: Grid Down

The Defiant: Grid Down

by John W. Vance


I was less than a chapter into this book and I started making fun of it. I’m sorry, but with things like…

He was so handsome and charming.Abigail

and (at the end of the book, no spoilers)

Oh my, he’s so handsome.Alexis

He was and charming too.Abigail

It was just a little much.

I actually was going to read this book prior to The Paper Magician, but put it down five pages into the prologue. Not to be one to hastily judge a book by its cover or by the first chapter, I picked it back up and gave it another go. First, the positive, EMPs are cool, it’s an easy read, and there are probably fewer grammatical errors in the book than in this review, but then again I’m not the one claiming to be a writer. Yes, that’s all I could come up with.

Honestly, with an editor this book could be quite a bit better. There’s massive redundancy in almost every dialogue, the author at one point spells a characters name differently (Sofie, instead of Sophie), at least three times a chapter I found myself thinking “well… that made no sense.” or ” that was a strange exchange/internal monologue”, and a lot of the dialogue felt extraneous.

Conceptually this book is similar to the TV show Revolution, power goes out, everyone panics. While done before, it is an interesting premise and apocalyptic stuff is my jam. We follow Nicholas and his family and Bryn and her sister taking on the challenge of the new world, which since humans are literally the worst quickly devolves into rioting, looting, attempted rape, and killing. Great. It doesn’t take long until Bryn moves on from being an asshole to her neighbor Matt to brandishing a gun and nearly getting everyone killed.

You’ll also get snippets from Vincent, a Marine returning from a six month tour and Michael, someone who may or may not have something to do with the blackouts. I think Michael’s storyline has the most potential to be interesting, but it isn’t really delved into much in this book (this is volume 1, I’m assuming a second volume is in the works).

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