Book Review – The Judas Syndrome
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author: Michael Poeltl
Format: Kindle, Paperback
After weeks of planning, Joel and his girlfriend Sara, along with their group of teenage friends travel hours away from their rural hometown for a weekend of camping and partying. Miles from civilization and off the grid, they enjoy their reprieve from everyday life. But once they begin their journey back, they find no cell service and the radio stations are nothing but static. As they arrive home, they realize the unimaginable has happened. Nuclear weapons have been unleashed on the world and life as they had known it is forever over.
Michael Poeltl’s “The Judas Syndrome” is a look into what happens to a group of friends who must rely on each other for survival after the end of the world. This is a bit of a cross between “Mad Max” meets “Lord of the Flies”. Poeltl does a masterful job of describing the conditions one might have to endure in such a horrible situation as well as the way each character degenerates as a result. This is a troubling novel that reminded me a little of Stephen Kind’s “Under the Dome” in its character study. This first novel in the series focuses in many ways how the worst comes out in each of the characters. The next novel in the series – Rebirth – is almost the opposite bringing out the best in most (but that is another review). There are some supernatural elements that occasionally appear here which give the novel an extra dose of intrigue and amp up the creepy factor which enhance the mood. Unfortunately, these aren’t resolved at the book’s conclusion which was a bit frustrating but fortunately they return and evolve nicely in book 2.
“The Judas Syndrome” was one of those books I just couldn’t put down. Told from Joel’s first person perspective, Poeltl does a nice job conveying the complexities of all the characters which is occasionally challenging from this perspective. If you like book one like I did, you’ll like book 2 even more. “The Judas Syndrome” is $2.99 on kindle.
Note: A complementary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.