The Lost Diaries of John Smith
148 pages (portrait)
The Lost Diaries of John Smith by Phillip Rhodes takes a dark look at a calamity that brings the government of England and all its social and economic institutions to a standstill. It is about survival, and searching for loved ones, and being caught up in events that no one has control over. Told in short, vignette-like chapters and discovered diary fragments The Lost Diaries of John Smith represents a growing interest in post-apocalyptic stories that run the gambit from total destruction of the planet to local isolation due to disaster or unforeseen societal breakdown. The Lost Diaries is a clear example of the later and is very successful in many ways. But the compelling factor, in my opinion, is that the author kept my interest through the entire story (even with some glaring mechanical errors) and I read quickly through the Diary to see what had become of the character named in the title. Throw in a quest motif and a few aliens and you have a solid venture worth reading.
One disconcerting aspect about this book was the unusual number of spelling and editing errors and misused words (plague for plaque, for instance.) I assumed at the time that I was reading an ARC, in which it is common to find many spelling errors, but if this was not an Advance Reader Copy then the author is in serious need of a good copyeditor. About the only other negative thing I can say about it is that it was much too short and I, for one, wish I'd thought of the idea. If you enjoy character-driven post-apocalyptic fiction, quest narratives, or stories of suffering, loss, and redemption then The Lost Diaries of John Smith is for you.
3 out of 5 stars