The Summer the World Ended
by Matthew Cox
Published on June 29th 2015
by Curiosity Quills Press
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
As far as Riley McCullough is concerned, her best friend getting ‘dragged’ off to Puerto Vallarta for the first two weeks of summer vacation was the end of the world―at least until the bombs fell.
Life in suburban New Jersey with her mother has been comfortable, not to mention boring, to an introverted fourteen year old. As if her friend’s surprise trip wasn’t bad enough, her expectations for the ‘best summer ever’ disintegrate when she gets sent across the country to stay with a father she hasn’t seen in six years. Adjusting to a tiny, desert town where everyone stares at them like they don’t belong proves difficult, and leaves her feeling more isolated than ever. To make matters worse, her secretive father won’t tell the truth about why he left―or what he’s hiding.
Her luck takes an unexpected turn for the better when she meets a boy who shares her interest in video games and contempt for small town boredom. In him, she finds a kindred spirit who might just make the middle of nowhere tolerable.
Happiness is short lived; fleeing nuclear Armageddon, she takes shelter with her dad in an underground bunker he’d spent years preparing. After fourteen days without sun, Riley must overcome the sorrow of losing everything to save the one person she cares about most.
This was such an amazing book! As soon as I finished reading it I wanted to purchase everything this author has written. If only I had the money and that kind of time right now. Ugh. I’ve made it my mission to make it through his library as soon as possible.
I absolutely love Riley, our fourteen year old protagonist. She’s a gamer… yay! I felt like I was reading about my teenage self. Well, I wasn’t a huge gamer in my teens, but I have been most of my adult life so I could easily relate to her character. She was completely distraught about her summer being ruined and full of emotion throughout the story — a typical hormonal teen. I kept wondering how the author was able to write a teenage girl so well and then, totally unrelated, I thought about the scene in As Good As It Gets when the receptionist asks Jack Nicholson’s character how he writes women so well and he says, “I think of a man… and then take away all reason and accountability.” LOL. Nothing at all to do with this book, but the memory made me chuckle.
While I love zombie books and most things post-apocalyptic, as everyone knows, I never thought I was really into the nuclear Armageddon type stories. Well, I was wrong. Thank you Mr. Cox for showing me the error of my ways. This story is mind-blowing. It’s very well paced, which kept me from putting the book down. I read it in one sitting and loved every minute of it. The character development and world-building were spot on as well. I have not one complaint about this story.
I highly recommend The Summer the World Ended to all fans of post-apocalyptic stories. This one is going on my Favorite Reads of 2015 list!
~About the Author~
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.
Matthew’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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