Matt Chandler is a typical sixteen year old. He just asked a girl he likes out and can’t wait for tomorrow. He works at the local theater and is their preparing for a benefit. The only person with him is a girl named Dani Cortland an aspiring actress there to rehearse for a play. Suddenly the emergency broadcast signal is sounded. An announcement that the Russians have launched a nuclear strike. Matt and Dani take shelter in the basement as the nukes fall. For a month they survive on junk food and soda pop. When they leave they find their small town of Fair Oaks flattened. Also they have to fight off a pack of radiation scarred dogs.
So the two explore the town and run into a group of survivors heading toward California. They heard that the west coast so not hit too bad. Matt is excited since this parents were out their visiting his brother. So the two join them on their trek. While scavenging for food the group is attacked by a gang of scavengers. A group of murderers and rapists that escaped the nearby prison after the war. Lead by Marley they take Dani. Now Matt has to figure out a way to rescue her from the vicious gang.
So this is an early YA series from the eighties. I hear that it was rare to find and fortunately found the series on E-bay for a reasonable price. I’m surprised I never got this when it came out since I always scooped up anything that dealt with post-nuclear at the time. The book was an enjoyable read. I liked the characters and found it fairly realistic. The plot does meander a bit but I sort of like the slow pace. They didn’t need to rush things back in those days. A good start to a bit of nostalgia from the old days.