Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and their father, Rick, on the outskirts of an isolated mining community. The Palmers are doomsday preppers. They have a bunker filled with non-perishable food and a year's worth of water.
One day while Rick is at the mine, the power goes out. At the Palmer's house, and in the town. All communication is cut. No one knows why.
It doesn't take long for everything to unravel. In town, supplies run out and people get desperate. The sisters decide to keep their bunker a secret. The world is different; the rules are different. Survival is everything, and family comes first.
For Fin, it’s just like any other day – racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through class and trying to remain cool in front of the most sophisticated girl in his universe. Only it’s not like any other day because, on the other side of the world, nuclear missiles are being detonated.
When Fin wakes up the next morning, it’s dark, bitterly cold and snow is falling. There’s no internet, no phone, no TV, no power and no parents. Nothing Fin’s learnt in school could have prepared him for this.
With his parents missing and dwindling food and water supplies, Fin and his younger brother, Max, must find a way to survive in a nuclear winter … all on their own.
When things are at their most desperate, where can you go for help?
Reviewed by Dani Solomon
Life has not been great for Tessa. Her dad committed suicide, her mum became an alcoholic, and she became the weird kid by having a public breakdown in front of her entire school. When a nearby private school closes down and half the students end up in Tessa’s public school, she holds hope that the influx of new students will take the heat from her. It does more than that, because with the influx comes Nick Kostas. He was school president at his old school, and he is unbelievably handsome and perfect in every way – but especially in the way he adores her, and only her.
A Shadow’s Breath starts just as life is starting to look up for Tessa. Now, not only does she have Nick (who loves her so much it sickens her best friend, Yuki) but her mum has finally had the scary wake-up call she needed and has left her abusive boyfriend, starting a new life of her own as a recovering alcoholic. Even so, Tessa understandably has trouble trusting and forgiving her mum. We find all this out through flashbacks though because the story really starts with a car accident in country Victoria.
The flashbacks to ‘Then’ feed beautifully into the struggle for survival ‘Now’: meeting Nick in the past; her mum making her breakfast for the first time in years; the cautious hope for survival Tessa feels in the immediate aftermath of the accident. An argument in Nick Now is an echo of an old fight Then. As the story moves on, Then seamlessly turns into Now, and the tears you were shedding for events of the past become the tears you are shedding for the events of the present.