Steven Konkoly’s, ‘The Perseid Collapse’, burns slowly in the first third of the book then builds to a predictable, though very satisfying climax. Based on the author’s intriguing premise about surviving an apocalyptical, but yet unverified collapse, Steven Konkoly rolls his deep knowledge of military hardware and warm understanding of just what drives the family unit as the most enduring structure in American life into a powerful roller coaster ride.
Konkoly’s characters wade courageously through an ever-widening vortex of destruction precipitated by an electromagnet charge that leaves the continental USA in the dark. Without spoiling the Perseid’s great plot, good versus evil shows that, an America without electricity might devolve into anarchy in as little as 72 hours. The scene at the bridges of Boston shines as a continental USA Apocalypse Now complete with sputtering machine guns and crazed looters all mixed in a chaotic witch’s brew.
How does Konkoly stand out in this context? He does it by focusing on the humanity of his dual protagonists. Alex and Kate shine in their emotional, believable reactions to both real and perceived threats. In the dorm where Alex attempts to rescue his son, the protagonist confronts a group of freshmen students and after some introspection tells them that, no one is coming to help them. Reality tests the character’s mettle, almost leaving him inert. Alex has weaknesses that make him more credible. Meanwhile, Kate has reacted mercilessly to save her bicycle-riding brood, playing her role with aplomb.
Rock solid, good people juxtaposed against both well-meaning and pure evil prepare readers for a second and third part of this new series. Having spent numerous summers in Maine and Vermont, this reader remains assured that Kate and Alex’s heartfelt family unit will evolve and prevail. On a slightly negative note, the first third of the book contains passages where the narrative balance shifts to narration over dialogue-based action. As a result, for this part of the book the action sometimes sputters. This reader cannot wait for the next part and can imagine a great film.