Friday, 20 January 2012

Book Review: Surviving the Fog by Stan Morris

Surviving the Fog tackles a familiar theme but in a slightly different way from similar tales. A group of pre-teens and teens at a camp to teach the benefits of abstinence and birth control find themselves abandonded when all the adults (bar one who remained behind) fail to return from an outing. Initially they make the most of the freedom but as time passes some of the kids start to become concerned. The remaining adult is in denial and it is only when one of the boys decides to venture out that they discover a strange and lethal fog has blanketed the world, but has not reached the altitude their mountain camp is located at. The book documents their efforts at survival. Firstly they have to consider their food supply, then turn their attention to how to survive a harsh winter in a camp designed for summer vacationers. They have to be resourceful and toughen up if they are going to survive.

Surviving the FogThis book is about teens and their relationships as well as their quest to create a new society. This and the way the book is written pitches it to the YA audience more than adults. There is some sex and violence but brief and not particularly graphic. The language was uncomplicated and the writing was very matter of fact. There was a slight lack of demonstration of how the emotions the survivors went through affected them, and it almost had a diary quality about it. It certainly fitted with how one of the youths might have narrated what happened them. The story is narrated in the third person from a number of viewpoints. There are a lot of characters to follow, although they don't all necessarily have large roles and "Chief" Mike is the main protagonist. At times the book moved around so quickly I struggled a little to keep track of who was who and perhaps because of the above I didn't really find myself connecting particularly well with any of them.

What I did enjoy though was the way I found myself wondering how I might cope in their circumstances and whether I might have come up with the sort of plans and solutions they did. I appreciated the descriptions of the area they were stranded in and the wildlife they encountered. In places I had to suspend my disbelief at some of the things that the tribe did, but I found I was happy to roll with it. At points I did wonder why they didn't take some obvious courses of action, but in for a penny...  and the fortunate appearance of particular people from outside the group helped make some of it slightly less hard to swallow.

There were some issues with rogue apostrophes and commas, and with the action moving around so much a change to the formatting to aid the reader would be nice, but otherwise I found it a quick, easy read. The book has some positive messages the reader can take away, it had me thinking and I put it down feeling that despite the issues I had with it I liked this book.

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 3*

No comments: