Solar Storm, Solar Winter, and Solar Dawn by Rob Lopez

This post-apocalyptic series follows the Nolan family and small band of friends as they attempt to survive the aftermath of a Carrington force solar storm.

Sergeant Rick Nolan and his crew are part of a black-ops operation in Syria. Lauren Nolan, a former military interpreter, has just begun a new job requiring frequent traveling. Josh, a moody teenager, and Lizzy, a serious 6-year-old, have been left in the care of Lauren’s parents in North Carolina. And then the solar storm knocks out the power grid around the world.

Solar Storm chronicles Rick and Lauren’s struggles to return to their children and the children’s struggles to keep body and soul together as society collapses around their ears.

Solar Winter picks up with the onset of an extremely frigid winter. The Nolans and their rag-tag band of survivors hunker down in what used to be a golf clubhouse to wait it out. New factions arise and not all of them have the best of intentions. Boss rounds up and enslaves men and women alike. Packy is a bit of a pyromaniac and self-proclaimed trader. Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, the nuclear power plant goes into meltdown and the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse, in the guise of Rick’s former nemesis Major Connors and his cronies, arrive on the Nolans’ doorstep.

Solar Dawn begins with the Nolan clan fleeing west. They encounter other pockets of civilization and other raiders. Rick attempts to unify the small groups to fight against the hooligans. Meanwhile, Major Connors and his crew have been busy setting up a new government, one Rick does not want to be a part of. Lauren is taken captive and the militia of the Carolinas overseen by Connors declares all-out war on Seargent Rick Nolan.

Solar Revolution, the next book in the series will be released sometime in 2019. I can’t wait until this book is out!

I enjoy apocalyptical dystopian stories and this series has been my favorite so far. Practical issues that are so often left out in other stories were integral parts of this saga. For instance, what’s a woman to do when she has her period? She can’t run out to the store anymore and pick up tampons. The stores have all been looted. Then birth control. Without modern medical interventions, people will be breeding like rabbits even if the environment is no longer feasible for infants.

There was also the fallacy of those prepper bunkhouses. It was a piece of cake for raiders to poison the air supply and take all those long-hoarded supplies for themselves. I also thought it realistic that those that had knowledge of the best survival skills, the elderly, were also the first to go. Physically they were no longer able to survive the difficult circumstances that the lack of electricity brought about. Of course, that meant that the younger survivors, who never had to make do with shortages in the land of abundance (the U.S.), found it more complicated to create a life off-grid.

Of the three, I was least satisfied with Solar Dawn. The story turned from practicalities to war maneuvers as civilization was reduced to roving hoards of delinquents. Of course, they haven’t turned to cannibalism yet which seems a given in many apocalypse books I’ve read. So perhaps there’s hope that the world will find a way to begin again in Solar Revolution.

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