Review: Flare by Jonathan Maas

Author: Jonathan Maas
Genre: Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic
Publication Date: December 13, 2014

Without warning or explanation, an extended solar flare bombards the earth and doesn't stop, making each day a battle for survival.
The sunlight blinds and burns instantly, and then kills within minutes. The radiation has also destroyed all of the earth's circuitry, leaving the nights dark and dangerous.

Two survivors, a thousand miles apart, each hear a rumor of a distant safe haven that can withstand the sun. Zeke is a silent wanderer, Ash is a brilliant young man hiding a painful past, and neither know just what this place really is.
To get there they must each travel through ravaged towns and over hundreds of miles of charred earth, and must do so under a sky waiting to kill them with every sunrise.
But with the world's population dying off and humanity getting more and more violent as the days pass, their paths are destined to collide, because this unknown and unseen place might be the only hope remaining.

Flare by Jonathan Maas was a book I picked up on a whim one day. It was cheap, I needed something to read and it took place after a cataclysmic solar flare decimates earth. Consider me sold! What I didn't expect while reading this story was how much I truly would fall in love with these characters.

While the cast in this book isn't overly huge it does follow two separate groups and their experiences surviving in the charred remains of the former USA. Zeke, Heather, Ash, Courtney. All were  strong, well written individuals with completely different personalities and they each brought their own uniqueness and skill sets to the table. Sometimes in a story such as this you can get lost in a sea of voices but I never once had a problem figuring out who we were following at any given moment. 

Another thing I really enjoyed about the story was the danger level. Not only did these characters have to deal with their lawless surroundings and the corrupted morals and ideals of certain individuals but also they had to exist in a completely backwards world since the sun would literally fry them to a crisp if they stepped outside into it. The way the characters adapted to the darkness was surprising but also brings home a really solid point to the phrase "Where there's a will there's a way." 

All in all was Flare a good story? Yes. I enjoyed the characters and the story premise was unique. I just wish that the ending had a more definitive resolution for all characters involved and that some of the loose ends were tied up to my satisfaction. I really hope this story is given a sequel someday because their is plenty left unexplored. At least, in this readers opinion. 

With that being said, I'll be rating Flare by Jonathan Maas ★★★★.

*Copy purchased. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them.

About the Author

Jon Maas was born in New Haven, Connecticut and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from Stanford University with degrees in Biology and History, he's earned a living as a Musician, Peace Corps Volunteer, Standup Comedian, TV Producer and Web Designer.

His first novel, "City of gods - Hellenica" has been well received, and his second book, 'Spanners: The Fountain of Youth' won the award for 'Best Young Adult Fiction' at the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival.

His third book, 'Flare,' has been well received and most recently won 'Best Science Fiction' at the 2015 Southern California Book Festival.

He hopes to release his fourth book 'The Dog That Laid Eggs' early next year.


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