Book Review: Surviving Abe

Surviving Abe: A Climate-Fiction Novel by J.Z. O’Brien, link to the Kindle edition I bought.

This is not, as someone living in Japan (like me) might think, about the Japanese Prime Minister.

It is also not so much about global warming. The “Abe” in the title is a destructive storm, but it only sets the stage for several independent survival stories.

The novel starts out with four stories. One of them merges with one of the others about half way through, leaving three sets of characters that don’t seem to have much to do with each other, except for the fact that they all somewhat suffer from the storm.

There is a set of antagonists (terrorists), who are developed not very much. Most of them only appear in the form of some e-mail text. Their motives, intelligence, and means of pulling their project off are rather open to doubt. If they want to cull World population from 7 to 2 billion, causing some extra deaths locally in the United States won’t get them very far. Even killing everyone in that country would be only around 0.318 billion people. Sabotaging infrastructure in a place they themselves live would be suicidal. And it is just not realistic to have them shut down the Internet and all radio communication on top of that.

Other antagonists serve as shooting targets for the good guys. The remain mostly without faces and names, just like targets in a computer game.

The author does a good job in developing the good guy characters. It is easy to follow even when he switches all the time between his three independent stories.

And the author also does a good job in keeping up the suspense.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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