An End-Times Hero


Are you tired of post-apocalyptic fiction? Perhaps you might enjoy some pre-apocalyptic fiction. "Countdown City" by Ben H. Winters is the second book in "The Last Policeman" series. It is a fast-paced and thoughtful read.

The hero is Henry Palace, former policeman in Concord, New Hampshire. Palace and his fellow citizens are living in strained circumstances. A large asteroid is set to collide with Earth in 77 days. People disagree about what exactly will happen, but everyone agrees that it will mean the end for humans on earth.

Chaos reigns in society. Many people have left their homes, choosing to live out their last months wandering, skydiving, or using drugs. Others are stockpiling weapons and food. Some are terrorizing their fellow citizens.

Against this backdrop, Henry Palace continues to live as a civil servant. He helps his neighbors, keeping a list of things he needs to do in a notebook. He investigates a missing person case, despite the fact that nearly half the population could be considered missing. He never fails to wear his helmet on his bicycle. Palace keeps his promises and follows a code despite impending doom.

In Winters' imagined world there is no coffee, gasoline, or electricity, but the Concord Public Library is now open 24 hours a day. So things aren't all grim.

--Jennifer A., Headquarters



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