Copyright 1983.

Eric Ravensmith is living a quiet normal suburban life in southern California as a history professor. One night his past comes back to haunt him in an assassin that comes in the night to kill him and his family. Years ago Eric was part of a covert military unit in Vietnam called the Night Shift. He turned in his commanding officer Col. Dirk Fallows for massacring a village. Now Fallows is out of prison and set on revenge.

Things really get tough when a giant earthquake tears California from the coast and forms an island. Chemical and biological weapons stored at Long Beach are unleashed and form a bubble over the island called the Long Beach Halo and cuts off California from the rest of the world. Eric and his family form a community in the ruins of the university. Fallows has survived and still seeks revenge on his former comrade. His army of killers attack the community and kill his daughter and kidnap his wife and son.

Eric and his companions track Fallows to a place called Savvytown. The founder is a frozen pizza ad exec who is living out his dreams of being a mafia bigshot. His town is a sort of Las Vegas build on slavery. Eric and his gang free Savvytown but his wife Annie is killed and Fallows escapes with his son Timmy. He is determined to raise him as his own son. Eric sets off after him with his new girlfriend Tracy. The guy clearly bounces back quick.

Now I am not a meteorologist but the concept of the Long Beach Halo not only seems impossible but kinda silly. Still is serves its purpose to isolate California for the post-apocalypse society. It was actually a nice change of pace to read one that was not a post-nuclear war series. It has the typical themes of a lawless society and how the people adapt to survive. Some try to rebuild maintain civilization while others embrace the new disorder to rape, pillage and kill. It’s a theme to any post-apocalyptic story and this series does it quite well.

Being a Zebra book there is the typical gratuitous sex and violence. Indeed the sex is described in graphic detail so you have no doubt that sex is taking place. The story is quite well written with believable characters and situations. All the major and some minor are given interesting backstories. The set up of the quest to rescue his son is classic and made it a fondly remembered book series from my childhood.


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