A decade after nuclear Armageddon swept the planet, a single underground outpost is still working in the United States. Harmony Base, designed to survive an apocalyptic event and restore America afterwards, explores the radioactive wasteland looking for other survivors to support.
After an earthquake damages Harmony’s life support systems, it’s up to Captain Mike Andrews and the crews of two all-terrain combat vehicles to get to San Jose for critical parts they need. There, they find the survivors they’ve been searching for, reduced to savagery. And they’re hungry …
Stephen Knight has a military background that is on full display in his fiction such as THE GATHERING DEAD and EARTHFALL, which blends the procedural with the fantastic. He raises the technical and military detail in his books completely off the Michael Crichton scale and to the point of fetish, which is good for me as a reader, because I love a tense, action-packed apocalyptic story told with extreme realism. On every page, you know you are being told a story by a guy who knows his business. The all-terrain fighting machines the Harmony explorers use to cross the wastelands are virtually characters in the book, and I loved every minute of screen time they had. They’re fantastic–the ultimate ROAD WARRIOR vehicles. Knight’s attention to detail and realism also means his characters don’t do anything that has you slapping your head in disbelief. From the steady Captain Andrews to the haunted veteran Mulligan, they’re stark, likable, tough.
EARTHFALL reads as a complete story, though the ending leaves a very wide opening for a series. I’ll be sure to check out Knight’s continuing vision of a ROAD WARRIOR world in which a United States military outpost struggles to survive and make things right again.