Book Review – Apocalypse Drift by Joe Nobody

Book Review – Apocalypse Drift by Joe Nobody

This was the first book I read by “Joe Nobody”, a pseudonym for the author of a series of post-apocalyptic novels.

The novel features both a strong storyline and really strong characters you feel invested into.  The “collapse of society” in this novel is brought about by the financial collapse of the US.  And what a collapse it is.  It is brought about by Chinese hackers breaking into the IRS system, filing fake tax returns resulting in the country going bankrupt.

“A few hours ago, it became evident that something was terribly wrong with the IRS’s tax processing system.  We believe there is a strong possibility that we are experiencing some sort of cyber-attack.”

Secretary Palmer’s first thought was “So, why are you troubling me with this?” Rather than ask why they hadn’t immediately contacted the FBI, she decided to hear them out.  “Go ahead/”

It was Abbot’s turn to talk, “Ma’am, this report indicates that tax returns generating over 210 billion dollars’ worth of refunds have been submitted electronically to our system in the last eight days.  That is over 100 times the average for this time of year.”

Marsha let out a very un-cabinet-level whistle.  “Did you say billion – like with a ‘b’?”

“Yes, ma’am, I did.”

The book gets off to a pretty slow start, as it starts following multiple story lines to set up the impending crisis.  But it is well worth the wait.

There are several storylines in the book.  First is the Wyatt family, who lives in the marina on their boat when the crisis strikes.  Congressman Reed is another character, who is quietly investigating the murder of his father.  Other US goverment politicians, officials and citizens have parts of the story told in their own perspectives.  And we follow a series of Chinese politicians who mastermind the plan that sinks the US government’s financial stability.

The book was interesting in two ways – first, one of the main storylines takes place in a marina with families living on their boats and then eventually leaving the marina in search of “greener pastures” where survival might be a bit easier, particularly due to thieves.  Second, it didn’t focus so heavily on one family member trying to travel thousands of miles to get home following an EMP or other disaster which is a long favorite plot device in many SHTF books.

One thing I didn’t find that realistic was the fact they weren’t considering the use of other boats in the marina.  When faced with life or death, the fact that they left the other boats essentially untouched – despite the unlikelihood of their owners returning – I felt was a bit far-fetched.  And it was a bit too coincidental that the Wyatt’s military son went on leave right as the economy collapsed.

Those interested in finances will find it interesting to follow through to proposed economic and financial changes as the US tries to dig itself out of the financial crisis that devastates the country.