PUBLICATION DATE: AUGUST 1, 2012
xceptional dialogue; top-notch suspense; engaging characters; end time scenario masterfully depicted; well researched bible prophecy. CONS: Not enough main character development; long periods of time go by that leave you hanging; the ending has many unanswered questions. Right off the bat, authors Mark Hitchcock and Alton Gansky, capture your attention with mind-numbing suspense in Digital Winter. After chapters devoted to introducing the main characters of Digital Winter, the book begins to split into layers of eight … eight minutes, eight days, eight weeks, eight months. The unthinkable has happened. It’s what we all fear in this age of reliance on everything digital. One young man, a savant named Donny, brilliant with computers but unable to do much of anything for himself, right down to assistance with going to the bathroom, has somehow configured a computer virus and worm that takes out everything electronic in not only the United States, but all countries around the world. While dark, shadowy figures hover nearby, Donny is at the heart of everything that will change the world. Or is he? Stop and think about it?which really is at the heart of this book. Everything from food to taking care of the sick in hospitals to prisoners in secured facilities … all without electricity that runs everything. Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) do massive damage by frying back-up generators to killing people because their pacemakers no longer function and airliners spiral to earth with hundreds of thousands of people on board. Looting, rioting, panic, murder?every unimaginable thing that could happen does so because our world, as we know it, ceases to be. Digital Winter takes you on a whirlwind ride as this whole scenario plays out for you right in front of your eyes. The authors do an excellent job of placing in your mind the horrors of the events that actually could take place if something like this were to happen. I found myself eerily thinking that this was too realistic while at the same time saying, “This would make a great movie!” I got the gist early on that Digital Winter was playing it close to home, as in close to biblical prophecy of pre-tribulation end times. While they more than adequately portrayed the terrors of the events unfolding, they fell short in several key areas. Donny is left lingering somewhere out of the story for long periods of time. He was integral in the phenomenon occurring yet chapter after chapter goes by and you know nothing about what’s happening to him or his family. To make matters worse, key figures in the prophetic storyline are brought in far too late in the book. The biggest disappointment for me was the way in which the authors chose to leave so much of the storyline dangling at the end. If you’re into Bible prophecy, this isn’t a problem. But I felt that those that aren’t, would be left saying, “Okay … there must be a sequel in the works.” Not only is the prophecy left pending, so is poor Donny. Much of the book is spent on describing the calamity that is occurring around the world, but mostly in the United States. Two main characters, Army officer Jeremy Matisse and his wife, Dr. Roni Matisse, are central throughout the book. Yes, they would represent important roles during such an ‘attack’, yet their characters seem to do little more that narrate the unfolding story via dialogue. This book had me totally engaged until about half way through the book. The plot was evident by this point; characters were in place; the world was falling apart and you felt like you were right there. Then it just seemed to take a turn. With each chapter came more and more descriptions of the catastrophe yet little in the way of what was actually going on behind the scenes. You know, who, what, when, where and why’s of it all?they just weren’t there. Had this book been presented as a ‘first in a series’, I would have fallen head over heels for it. It would have explained the ending with too many questions and left room for the characters to come to their full cultivation. But it’s not a series so be prepared to know your bible prophecy and be prepared to be satisfied in never knowing what happens to the ones you wanted to know the most about. It’s a good read that will keep you mesmerized, but ultimately unfulfilled.