Ok, I’ll admit it. I signed up to review Pulse because I wanted to write in this genre someday. (Dystopian/apocalyptic suspense, not YA). I don’t see a ton of Christian fiction in this genre, so I had to check it out. I’m glad I did! I enjoyed the book, but I also spent the week thinking through what I would do if disaster strikes…and what I can be doing to be a little bit more prepared. (If you think you want to be a little more prepared, too, make sure to get the author’s free download, “Foolproof Preparedness for Beginners” here!)
This post was originally shared on the Real World Bible Study.
This page contains affiliate links – they don’t cost you a penny, but they sure help to pay off those student loans! For more information, please see my disclosure page. Also, I received a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
First, let me just say something about this “Prepper” business. Proverbs 21:20 tells us that “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” There is wisdom in saving and preparing for emergencies, just like that rainy day fund you (should) have at the bank. Also, just like Abraham, we are “blessed to be a blessing.” So when we talk about preparing for emergencies in any context, we’re not talking about fear. We’re talking about 1) using wisdom, and 2) setting ourselves up to bless others.
In Pulse, a disaster strikes much of the US that knocks out anything electrical. Cell phones, cars, landline phones, heating. We don’t think about it, but if the grid goes down, we eventually lose water, too. The story is told through the journal entries of three teen girls in wintery Ohio. One friend lives in a 10th-floor apartment, one in an out-of-town neighborhood, and one on her family’s farm. It’s a chilling tale of how these families fight for survival when their normal means of heat, food, and water go down with the rest of the infrastructure.
What I Loved About Pulse
I really enjoyed watching these girls navigate faith questions in the midst of disaster. Disaster or distress of any kind tends to amplify the heart issues and force a response. I loved the reminder that what would seem absurd to us in the US, where we seem to have everything, is tragically normal in other parts of the world. Most of us don’t think about fighting for survival against cold and starvation, or what we might give up to survive. Most of us, outside of our law enforcement and military, don’t have to wrestle through those “awful but necessary” decisions.
The journal style was well done, and though we don’t always fully understand how something like an EMP would actually impact our lives, I felt this novel was well-researched. More than that, though, it successfully pulled me in. I found myself thinking about it when I was doing the dishes or driving to work, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
What I Didn’t Love About Pulse
There were a few times where it got a little preachy, or a little too politically long-winded. I work with teenage girls, and even if their dads were long-winded, even if they agreed with their dads, I don’t see them writing that much about those political opinions in a journal in one sitting. As a reader, I’d rather you subtly walk me into that way of thinking by observing the challenges the characters are going through than go at it head-on. I found myself skimming over these sections because they got kind of old. And I wanted to get to the next part because the rest of it was so good!
Would I Recommend Pulse?
Yes – to teens or adults. This book definitely had a YA flavor because of the point of view, but it didn’t bother me or come across as “young.” Note: Pulse touches on some adult material. Survival kind of does that to you. But as I’ve shared elsewhere, our teens need to read books with mature content. If it’s one of my girls that finds herself in a tough situation when disaster strikes, I don’t want that to be the first time she’s thought through how she would respond.
Pulse is on Tour with Celebrate Lit!
About the Book
Author: L. R. Burkard
Genre: Christian YA/Apocalyptic Suspense
Release date: August 24, 2015
What do you do when the whole world stops?
Andrea, Lexie and Sarah are just ordinary teens until a mysterious event shuts down all technology. In the dead of winter, there’s no heat, no internet, no cell phones–not even a working car.
In this chilling Christian YA tale, most of the population doesn’t survive. Pitting faith and grit against a world without power, the girls and their families must beat the odds. But can they find the strength to survive when society collapses and technology fails?
Click here to get your copy.
About the Author
Linore Rose Burkard wrote a trilogy of genuine Regency romances for the Christian market before there were any regencies for the Christian market. Published with Harvest House, her books opened the genre for the CBA. She also writes YA Suspense/Apocalyptic fiction as L.R. Burkard. Married with five children, Linore home-schools her youngest daughter, teaches workshops for writers, and is the Vice President of the Dayton Christian Scribes. Her latest PULSE EFFEX SERIES, takes readers into a “chilling possible future for America, while affirming the power of faith in the darkest of times.”
More from Linore
When my sweet historical romance series was published, I never dreamed my next would be YA/dystopian. What a switch in genres! So, how did I go from one end of the writing spectrum to another? Blame it on an idea that refused to die. I read a headline about how close the earth came to suffering a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, in 2012. We missed the worst effects of a solar flare by a hair (in space terms); but the “what if” factor had been set in motion. What if that flare hadn’t missed us? What if I was a teen raised on electronics–or an adult medically dependent on them–and it all went dead in a matter of seconds? What if the next flare doesn’t miss? PULSE, the first book in my PULSE EFFEX Series, was born.
The books show life in the aftermath of such an event for three teens and their families. With the world plunged into a new dark age, can they keep hope alive?
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