A THRILLER IN A POST-PANDEMIC-APOCALYPIC WORLD
Paladin's Odyssey is a post-pandemic-apocalyptic tale that opens in August 2059 with a confession by Joseph E. Paladin, former major in the United States Army, retired colonel in the Maine Republic Militia, and one of the founders of the New American Confederation. Paladin reveals in opening his memoir that his true identity is Walter Johnson.
Walter Johnson is one of the very few to survive a global flu pandemic that takes the lives of millions around the world. What remains is a world we have all imagined, and dreaded, a desperate and primitive new world where survival has become the only imperative and vicious predators create a climate of fear. It is a dark, dangerous, and seemingly hopeless new world.
Walt is the unlikeliest of heroes, a quiet, low profile, reticent man, but as he faces this terrible new world, he is drawn by destiny and circumstances to a life of extraordinary heroism.
The story opens quietly, just the way Walt likes things, but his world soon erupts in lies and deceptions and violence, and Walt is forced to emerge from his shell and join the struggle against evil.
As Walt tells is story, a woman from his past named Veronica becomes an intriguing character. All we know about her is that Walt's mistrust of women seems to stem from her. He tells us early on, “The truth was, I couldn’t find a woman I could trust.” Then he adds later, “Trying to start a relationship with any woman I met during that time would’ve been Veronica all over again, but worse.”
This was my first clue that Walt, ironically, resembles Walter Mitty, James Thurber's uncommonly ordinary, usually ineffectual, and hapless dreamer of personal triumphs. However, this Walt does not dream of personal triumphs, he avoids them, along with women. He is content to be withdrawn, keep his head down, and hide. It is this aspect of Walt that kept me turning the pages to see how in the world he becomes the honored, revered, and famous savior of the Confederation—Major Joseph E. Paladin.
The author has done a wonderful job creating a suspenseful tale of a post-pandemic-apocalyptic world. His characters are well drawn and authentic and define the desperate world in which they live. I highly recommend this book.