My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After spending quite a lot of time battling monsters in post-apocalyptic settings in the Extinction Cycle series and the recent Hell Divers, Nicholas Sansbury Smith takes a more grounded, and worryingly realistic, approach to the end of the world as we know it.
Smith's latest action thriller, Trackers, kicks off with a black ops rescue mission in North Korea, sparking a savage retaliation by the Supreme Leader against the United States of America. After a series of nuclear missiles are detonated high above the US, the resulting electromagnetic pulse stops the country dead in its tracks. Cars stall out in the middle of the highway, and the nation's power grid grinds to a halt.
While there's plenty of political action on the flip-side of this story, the main thrust of the narrative surrounds the hunt for a serial killer in Estes Park, CO, after the abduction of several children. Readers of Smith's prior works already know he's a solid action writer who can really keep a story moving, and Trackers is no exception. While there's plenty of action, Smith does well in focusing on characters, putting family dynamics front and center in this post-apocalyptic entry.
Perhaps the one aspect I appreciated most was the incorporation of Native American mythology thanks to one of Smith's primary protagonists, a Cherokee serviceman nicknamed Raven. While there are no supernatural elements in Trackers, the incorporation of Native American beliefs into the spine of the story and its characters was very well done. In fact, I'm looking forward to book two largely to see what other, if any, Native American elements Smith draws upon.
Trackers is a solid first entry into a new series, and I'm looking forward to seeing how these groups of characters move forward and adapt to the altered landscape they find themselves in.
[Note: I received an advanced reader's copy of this title from the author.]
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