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Strike Three, by Joy V. Smith
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: WolfSinger Publications
Published: 2014
Review Posted: 10/11/2014
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Strike Three, by Joy V. Smith

Book Review by Jeremy D. Carr

Have you read this book?

It starts with a warning -- the end is coming, prepare. The world is threatened by a new breed of terrorist with a new breed of weapon, a "hot virus" that threatens to kill all life indiscriminately.

The story focuses on Sheridan Zane, caretaker of a government-funded secured emergency shelter on an airbase in Kansas. Sheridan has been charged with preparing for just this situation, and he has done his job as well as anyone could, but no one is prepared for what comes next.
"Word spread, at first just a trickle, and then, when there was no one important enough left to deny it, a flood... The smart ones looked for a shelter, stocked up on duct tape for sealing, food, water, and anything else they could think of and went to ground."

The unthinkable happens. When the first survivors begin to come out from their shelters they find "all the dead trees and plants had been long dead, and nothing would be coming back afterwards... There was no green, no sprouts, no leaves, no scurrying or flying insects even. No wandering people or pets. And it was deathly quiet."

When Sheridan eventually opens his shelter the scientists are the first ones out the door. They confirm the fear, "no bugs, no microorganisms, no life of any kind." The Earth's surface has been decimated to a vast, wind-blown, sandy desert with no trace of life.

It's a good start to the story, but from here it suddenly turns on the reader. On the very next page after you learn that the Earth is completely barren, "Now, going into September," (they came out of the shelter in June, just three months earlier), "there were a few green fields around Prairie Schooner..." How could this be? As prepared as they were, they are all admittedly not prepared for this! But still, in the barren Earth, they not only have green fields but "there'd been some haying." It turns out that a barren Earth is a utopia. Everything starts growing back, there are dogs and horses and airplanes and submarines, and no big brother government telling us all what to do. What a wonderful world!

Strike Three by Joy V. Smith starts out as an apparent Sci-Fi novel about the end of the world, but quickly turns into a very non-sci diatribe on the author's political views and the evils of politicians and the American government. The characters remain mostly one-dimensional, the story unbelievable and repetitive, and when the old regime from D.C. comes back above ground five years after the disaster, they find that the survivors, of which there were few, mostly hailing from Kansas, Texas and Florida, have already rebuilt a unified nation where few survivors died, and everyone has a dog and a horse, and Thomas Jefferson Jenson of Texas is about to be elected President in a well-organized, national, democratic election. And the happy resolution for the story comes when President Jenson appoints all the evil old-school politicians to far, remote locations on missions of mostly little import in order to retain all power for himself and his appointees, thus re beginning the cycle of evil politics.

This disaster story winds up feeling like a delusional daydream of the author's. This story only holds true if morbid and tragic, but it reads like a fairy-tale, ending and all. It is not really a disaster story, it is simply a disaster. It is a bait-and-switch. As an avid sci-fi reader I found this book to be both a waste of my time and an insult to the genre. I suggest you do not waste your time as well
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