A Matter of Days
Most people are totally unprepared for the end of the world as we know it. Luckily for Nadia and Rabbit, their father was a Special Forces Marine, their Uncle Bean was a medical researcher, their grandfather was a Doomsday Prepper© and their mother was a nurse. But even with training, surviving a pandemic virus that wipes out most of the world’s population isn’t easy for a 16-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother.
"A MATTER OF DAYS would be a fine entrée into the genre for the uninitiated, and Kizer includes a surprisingly helpful Author’s Note at the end for further reading on the nonfictional aspects of survival."
Amber Kizer’s A MATTER OF DAYS follows the sibling pair from immediately after their mother’s death by the virus BluStar, as they travel from Washington state to West Virginia, where they hope some of their extended family are waiting for them. Along the way, they encounter many obstacles that threaten to end their fraught trip but manage to pick up a few friends along the way, including Teotwawki, the faithful St. Bernard, and Zack, an older boy from the streets of Los Angeles. Together they journey to find stability in a world that has crumbled around them in a few short months and overcome the trauma of losing almost everyone.
Essentially a road novel, as many post-apocalyptic stories are, A MATTER OF DAYS covers many of the plot points one would expect: scavenging through the ruins of consumer society, being attacked by a roving band of marauders and so on. However, most of the familiar stories (a) aren’t often told from the perspective of young people and (b) don’t often involve characters who have more than a common sense approach to survival. Nadia’s interior monologue expresses the intense fear of being forced to grow up early and shows how thinking about survival on an intellectual level, instead of just the instinctual one, can increase one’s chances of living in the hypothetical hellscape of post-apocalyptic America --- instead of dying in it.
A MATTER OF DAYS would be a fine entrée into the genre for the uninitiated, and Kizer includes a surprisingly helpful Author’s Note at the end for further reading on the nonfictional aspects of survival. One last point in its favor: no zombies.
Reviewed by Dave Franklin on July 11, 2013
A Matter of Days
- Publication Date: May 10, 2016
- Genres: Young Adult 12+
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Ember
- ISBN-10: 0385739745
- ISBN-13: 9780385739740