Review: The Dog Stars

So this weekend I finished my seventh book of the year! I’m pleased with how the project is going, as I said during my bi-monthly update post on Saturday. Now, it’s time to review Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars:

REVIEW: The Dog Stars, Peter Heller
Published: 2012
Length: 319

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Plot: It’s been nine years since a particularly deadly flu strain killed mostly everyone, Hig and his dog, Jasper live in the remnants of Colorado at an abandoned airport, with the company only of their eccentric, survivalist neighbor Bangley. Hig spends most days flying his Cressna airplane, making sure the three are safe. He wonders what’s beyond his point of no return (cause, ya know, gas an all). Ultimately, after he gets a communication on his radio, he makes the choice to fly past that point and see where no return takes him.

Most Memorable Line(s): “To multiply the years and divide by the desire to live is a kind of false accounting.”
-This was a sentence that literally made me stop in my tracks. When talking post-apocalyptic, the desire of survivors to live is usually unquestioned. Or at least I always thought it was. There was doubt, but never so… strikingly. Sometimes life gets mundane, but life in that way? When you’ve lost your family and your friends? I can’t really imagine what “living” would even mean.

What I liked: I’m a big fan of post-apocalyptic genre. So much so that I took a class solely on it in college. So I was pretty excited when I came across this book. The idea seemed so wonderfully simple: what would happen when you fly past that point of no return? Honestly, I just really enjoyed this book. The plot was wonderful. The character development was really on point. I felt like I understood them; I understood their pain and hope. Even the dog, Jasper. He was written perfectly. He wasn’t emotionless. There was such an incredible feeling of hope and optimism that was perfectly melded with sorrow, heartache, and fear. The melding of the different emotions made this a book I ultimately didn’t really want to put down.

What I didn’t like: The book, at times, was a little hard to read. It was written, almost exclusively it seemed, in fragmented sentences. At the beginning it was difficult to understand, and almost felt a little too mundane (which, to be fair… it probably should have, I guess). But still. There were moments of mundane and bore. There also, as in the last book I reviewed, was a bit of a stark split. Although The Dog Stars was able to merge the differences a little better than TNOS did.

Grade: 8/10…because it was completely enjoyable and believable, but got a little slow at moments.


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