Washington DC Intelligence Analyst Chris Jung has gone fetal. Tormented by panic-fueled obsessive thoughts and buried in TPS reports, the walls of his cubicle are closing in. But when a mysterious series of EMPs plunges the industrialized world into darkness, it saves Chris from himself and spurs him to head for the hills with his pregnant wife.
Along the way, Chris meets Rita Luevano, a jaded Unitarian reverend who leads a motley horde fleeing to Monticello. Together with the remnants of a Marine battalion, Chris and Rita help establish communities of urban refugees in the Shenandoah Valley. They and the other lucky few who have escaped civilization's collapse learn the lost arts of subsistence agriculture, blacksmithing and archery in order to adapt to a world devoid of technology and instant gratification. Faced with the specter of starvation and death, Chris and Rita must face their own demons and conjure the dormant will to live even while pop tunes and TV commercials still ring fresh in their ears and they no longer have Wikipedia to give them the answers.
Not everything from the old world has perished. One corporate entity, a black ops military security corporation, weathered the collapse and seeks hostile takeovers of what the burgeoning communities have scraped together. Thrust out of their suburban malaise and into a gritty struggle for survival, a tenacious spirit awakens in the haunted souls of Chris and Rita who find their authentic selves at the end of civilization.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.73(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As an avid sci-fi reader and as an editor, it takes a lot to impress me. In my first encounter with The Hunger Games, before it went viral, I knew it was going to be a huge hit. In all my years of editing fiction, I have only twice worked on a story that I felt was going to be a huge hit. I had the immense honor of working with Michael Juge on Refurbished Soul, the third in his Shift trilogy. I did not even make it to the second chapter before realizing that this book (and the two before it) were going to hit the reading world in much the same way The Hunger Games did. I worked overtime on Refurbished Soul because I simply could not put it down! Michael pulls you into the story from page one and won’t let you go. The characters come alive and the action pulls you along with seemingly no effort. Michael is an amazing author and dedicated to his art. And for the record, he did not ask me or pay me to write this review! I wholeheartedly believe in the Shift Trilogy (I’ve read all three books TWICE) and you will not regret stepping into the delightful, action packed, and thrilling world of the Shift. P.S. I am stocked up on peanut butter and have my bike in tip top condition, Michael, bring it on!
As a life long science fiction aficionado my standards are fairly rigorous so it is rare that I recommend a book to others. After cutting my teeth on Robert Heinlein, Issac Asminov and James Blish I sometimes almost give up on the current state of the genre--and then comes along an author like Michael Juge and a trilogy like The Shift and I have hope the genre is not dead. There are plenty of end of the world books out there, but Juge seems to grasp the reality of the soft underbelly of modern civilization: the micro-chip, and he weaves that weakness into a realistic and thought provoking essay on what happens to ordinary people when things don't work. In this first book the good and bad of human nature is thoroughly explored as survivors attempt to make a life in central Virginia. But there is so much more to explore and you get a sense of that in the first book. The shift refers not only to the change from a modern electronic centered world but it also refers to the cause itself: a shift in magnetic poles. But enough of the plot. The writing is swift and well paced. I found it hard to put the book down. But this is not an all action shoot 'em up. There is real character development in the plot. When you finish a good book the characters stay with you through the day immediately after you finish the last page and close the cover. That is true here. I still think about Jon Early, the ex-Marine, who returns to his family home after things fall apart, the inheritor of a family lineage that stretches back to the Civil War, and a true warrior in every sense that a Virginian can be --or the neurotic Chris who finds a center in this new world when before he contemplated suicide in the physical luxuries of modern America. I've read The Hunger Games. This is a much better book in execution and in plot. It is not a book Heinlein, Asminov or Blish would write. It is a book that Juge would write and perhaps that says it all. He has his own voice and it shows in the words he crafts.