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Survival (Fallout, #1) by Lisa Harris 

The exciting and believable debut of Lisa Harris’s Christian dystopian series, FALLOUT. 

No one really knows what happened. The residents of Shadow Ridge called it “The Quake.” But whatever it was, it took down the power grid, people died, and it doesn’t seem like power or life as we know it will be restored any time soon. In far west Texas, the town is isolated and inaccessible during the best of times, but now, cut off entirely from the rest of the state, lawlessness has claimed the surrounding miles of country. The people of Shadow Ridge must depend on their own to survive. 

Survival is the first book in Lisa Harris’s Christian dystopian series, Fallout, and it’s been most appropriately described as “Longmire meets Jericho.” As an enthusiast of the dystopian/post-apocalyptic sub-genre, I can confidently say this book will go down as one of my favorites, and now I can’t wait to dive into the subsequent novels! 

Jace McQuaid is an earnest and engaging protagonist, though I was initially surprised he took the lead, not his father. (I think the comparison to Longmire set up that expectation.) But it is through Jace’s point of view that the story unfolds, and we also get an additional subplot regarding his father to follow. 

The plot felt more realistic than many other books I’ve read in this subgenre. There are a lot of unknowns as people struggle to survive, which I think would be the case. With their lines of communication gone, I don’t think anyone would really know (by this point in the story) what had caused technology’s collapse. As a radio operator, I would like to believe that some communication system would have regenerated pretty quickly, though. There are still quite a few Elmers and MacGyvers out there working with minimal tech. However, not having that up and running created limitations that made for a great story. 

I liked that Jace and others always considered the impact “The Quake” had upon their neighbors, whether when trying to lend support or figure out what the bad guy would do next, given the circumstances. As adversity brings out the best and the worst in people, I hope most would tend to the good. I really enjoyed the mentions of how the town’s older residents had been sought out for their knowledge and memories of how things were done before technological conveniences became the norm. 

Besides the dystopian storyline, there is romance. Starting as a warm and tentative attraction, Jace and Morgan have internal conflicts over letting their relationship grow into something more. Despite some differences, they are good together, and I was all for them becoming a couple. Little Noah was a sweet handful, and he made me smile. 

With an exciting and realistic plot, engaging characters, and a desolate, dystopian west Texas setting, I recommend SURVIVAL to readers who enjoy dystopian stories with a romantic subplot and, so far, no viruses or zombies. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Lone Star Book Blog Tours.

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