Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Lost Diaries of John Smith by Phillip Rhodes

This is a short story, that I began reading this morning, but quickly became drawn into. I so wanted to know what happened to John Smith

There has been a disaster, a fireball that destroys most of Europe, and also a massive EMP wave that affects the rest of the world. At first, thought to be a meteor storm, but years later found it was caused by the explosion of an Alien craft.
This story follows a young girl, Amy,  who was found by John Smith, in Cumbria and who got her to safety, back with her Father. They never knew who John Smith was, only that he helped many after the disaster of 2014.

Amy goes on a journey from Aberdeen to Cumbria to find this man from the past. A hard cycling journey, with a few provisions and the help and guide of two ex army men who remembered her being found by this John Smith.  On this journey she finds the Dairy of John Smith.

The dairies described the thoughts and worries of a man who has witnessed a disaster and doesn’t know what has truly happened.  The descriptions of the first few weeks trying to survive on what food he could find, the strange Alien ship that appears and the strange electrical storms that plague the area.
Then he finds Amy with her died Mother and Amy learns of how he deals with the new responsibility of taking care of her, only 3 years old at the time.

Amy returns to Scotland with her treasure. And the plot tells of the people that made a different after the disaster. And how society changed to survive without 21st Century technology.
Amy’s search unearths others that came to know John after the disaster and she comes in possession of other lost Diaries of John Smith. In these she learns of the hardships of working for the aliens, in deep mines. Despite the aliens providing food, water, shelter and warmth, the diaries speak of terrible accidents and side affects that change the skin and eye colour of the workers.

I found the description told by John in his diaries of the hardness of life after the disaster quite moving. You get a real sense of loss, grief and hardship of the life of the survivors.  It gives an interesting view on how humanity would cope after a disaster. The diary form of telling the story does make it bitty in its telling and to be honest I’m not a big lover of this form of story.  But I did enjoy this story, perhaps because it was based partly in my own area - Cumbria.  And because I love Scotland and visit their regular.

Rating 4/5
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