Friday 28 June 2019

THE MORNING STAR by C W Hawes @cw_hawes

4.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: bought a while back via a passing tweet; I chose it out of the many unread books on my tablet after it was recommended by a Twitter friend.

In a Nutshell: Survival eight months after an incident that killed off the majority of the population.  Setting: various places in the US, settling in Missouri.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.  Having started and abandoned two other books of the same genre before opening this one, it was great to find something intelligently written by a writer with real talent; as soon as I'd read the first page I was sure I was going to love it.

Bill Arthur is a guy in his late fifties who is surviving after whatever happened on 'That Day'.  Along his travels southwards from Minnesota, after leaving groups that weren't working out, he teams up with several others, and they settle in Rocheport, Missouri.  All is going smoothly - but then another group turn up, led by a religious zealot.

This is a post apocalyptic book about real people, about survival and the effect of TEOTWAWKI on humans used to every technological convenience.  It's told by Bill in the first person, in a laid back sort of diary format.  Of course, this structure has its limitations, namely in describing events that happen to others in Bill's group, and further afield, but this is handled well, and never clumsily.

I liked Bill a lot, enjoyed reading his philosophical thoughts and the methods employed for the group's well-being; I was engrossed all the way through.  Although not a gun fights and action book, it is not without suspense and danger, and is certainly a page turner.

I've knocked off half a star because of an editorial issue (ie, one the editor should have picked up on) that is one of my pet whinges: the not infrequent use of the term 'Sally (or whoever) and I' when it should have been 'Sally and me'**, and because I was frustrated that we were never told exactly what happened on 'That Day', or why it occurred.

These minor issues aside, I absolutely recommend this book for lovers of this genre; it's a quiet gem, and one I'm glad I've discovered.  C W Hawes is a terrific writer, and I've already begun the second book in the series.

** I wrote a blog post about this, a while back, entitled 'The grammatical error that even the most intelligent people make' - it's HERE if you want to read it.


  1. Interesting take on an overused concept. I'm not sure if I'd read it - as a child of the atomic bomb age, this stuff makes me very
    uncomfortable. Great review, Terry, as usual.

    1. I'm a total addict, Noelle - I can read as many good TEOTWAWKI books as you can throw at me! Thanks for reading :) x

  2. Interesting observation about the I or me question. I have to admit it's something I run by my husband when I'm unsure and he points out how it sounds without the 3rd person. That's not to say that I haven't made this mistake on occasions. Your review nails it. The book is superb and, like you, I had to read the follow up. He's a wonderful, intelligent writer.

    1. Sorry for late reply - I have to log onto another browser to answer comments on Blogger and it's so slow; I sometimes miss some! You're right, he is :)