Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Review: 'The Darwin Collapse' by William Oday

California author William Oday, following the success of this debut novel THE DARWIN PROTOCOL Book 1 of The Last Peak Series, has decided to release his biographical data – a move that helps us understand how he become such a polished writer with his first (an now his second novel. ‘Living in Los Angeles, he achieved his Career 1.0 dream by working on big-budget movies for over a decade. If you've seen a Will Smith or Tom Cruise blockbuster action movie, you've likely seen his work. He is now pursuing his Career 2.0 dream--a dream he's had since youth--to write thrilling stories that pull a reader in and make the real world fade away. He has since moved to a more rural setting north of San Francisco.’ And after reading both of these superb books it is obvious he has fulfilled Career 2.0 dream.

If you have not read Book1, do. As a reminder of how he Last Peak started, the following is quoted form that book: ‘The Pentagon Washington, D.C. Dr. Anton Reshenko realized they resembled nothing so much as monkeys, preening and picking at each other to ease tensions and confirm social status. He stood at the back of the small conference room, quietly waiting to be recognized. The most powerful men and women in the United States government packed the tight space in a conspicuous ordered hierarchy. The senior members each occupied a high-backed, black leather chair at the long rectangle table. The chair at the far end was symbolically empty, as the president was absent. Would that legally cover plausible deniability? Proximity from that vacant chair communicated power and position. Ongoing feuds and bitter rivalries occasionally shuffled the membership. Anton wasn’t foolish enough to think the news accounts ever got to the truth of those transitions.’…‘When a viral apocalypse ravages Los Angeles, former marine Mason West’s skills as a close protection officer may not be enough to save those he loves most. But the total collapse of society is just the beginning of his problems. Paying back a personal debt ignites a bloody war with a vicious gang leader. Worse yet, his latest client is a complete nightmare, an egomaniac supermodel—the kind that expects the world to revolve around her, even when it’s falling apart. With a debt to pay and his family to save, the end of the world couldn’t be more personal.’

So here we are, caught up with the adventure, and William’s synopsis informs us of the progress in this volume: ‘: A pandemic virus. Changed humans. A family fighting to survive. A week after the outbreak and the world is utterly transformed. Former marine Mason West and his family emerge from the wreckage only to confront the horrifying aftermath. Civilization in ruin. Humans not like they once were. A maniacal genius intent on carrying through with his diabolical scheme. Los Angeles has truly become the city of angels—a burial ground for millions. The West family have only themselves to depend on. With dwindling resources and surrounded by danger, their survival is anything but assured.’

What determines the success of an ongoing series is the ability of an author to create credible characters about whom we care and with whom we wish to continue a serial journey. In Mason West he has sculpted a hero of that sort and the other characters who populate the pages are very strong and work into the unraveling thriller perfectly.

Welcome to the imagination and elegant prose of William Oday. He is here to stay. Grady Harp, August 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.